Author Event: Kenneth Conklin - Norvel: An American Hero
As we get ready for the summer Olympic Games, meet author Kenneth Conklin as he discusses a local Olympic hero in his new novel about Norvel Lee. On a September morning in 1948 - while a member of the U.S. Olympic team, a Howard University student, and a veteran of World War 2 - Norvel Lee was arrested for taking a seat in the white section of a segregated train in rural Virginia. Lee's appeal of the case resulted in a landmark Jim Crow era civil rights decision.
Among Lee's accomplishments were earning his wings as a Tuskegee Airman and as a member of the 1948 and 1952 U.S. Olympic teams, making history at the 1952 Helsinki Games.
While raising and empowering their family Norvel and his wife dedicated their lives to educating and mentoring young people and contributing tirelessly to community outreach organizations in the Washington D.C. area. Norvel Lee was truly an unsung hero who deserves recognition as a civil rights leader who made a profound difference in people's lives.
Norvel Lee, an unsung historical figure, rightfully should be included on a list of famous African Americans.