Melvin V. Dorn, 69, helped integrate Girard College

Dorn
Dorn
Posted: July 30, 2014

WHEN MELVIN V. Dorn first got involved in the civil-rights struggle back in the '60s, he thought of himself as a tough kid from North Philly who wouldn't take any guff from anybody.

Meeting Martin Luther King Jr. and Cecil B. Moore changed his perspective. King, of course, was famous for teaching the power of nonviolence, and Moore, although a tough ex-Marine, went along.

And the kid from North Philly saw the value of the peaceful approach to getting things done, such as the integration of Girard College in the '60s, one of Moore's biggest and most successful campaigns. Dorn was right there, marching with the winners.

Melvin Dorn, a concert promoter who spent his entire grown-up life in civil-rights struggles, helping the homeless and others in need, died July 21 at age 69.

One of Melvin's last campaigns, working through the Cecil B. Moore Philadelphia Freedom Fighters, was to induce SEPTA to stop using "C.B. Moore" on the Route 3 bus on Cecil B. Moore Avenue and to adopt the full name of the late lawyer and city councilman.

Melvin is survived by two sons, Solomon and Barry; two daughters, Melvina and Trina; three brothers and two sisters.

Services: 11 a.m. Friday at Oak Grove Baptist Church, 21st and Cambria streets. Friends may call at 10 a.m.

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