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Thu, 08.27.1942

Walter Hall Lively, Philadelphia Activist born

Walter H. Lively

*Walter Hall Lively was born on this date in 1942. He was a Black activist & Black Liberationist.

Born in Tasker Homes, one of Philadelphia's earliest public housing projects, he was the oldest of eight children.  His father was resourceful, and though he never finished high school, he got to college and became an accountant.  Because of his light skin color, he was promoted to the official company Negro.

Then he became an alcoholic and left home when young Walter was thirteen (13); he never returned, and his wife and her eight children had to go on welfare.  Young Lively helped the family by working.   The family lived in a very multicultural section of South Philadelphia.

In 1960, Lively graduated from South Philadelphia High School. Not long before graduation, a white kid was killed by a Black kid.  He noticed that his white friends began to behave differently toward him, as if he had killed the white kid.  From the fall of 1960 to the spring of 1961, he worked as a lab technician and attended night school at the University of Pennsylvania, where he studied "logic, reading, writing, and math." From 1961 to 1962, Lively participated in Freedom Rides in Maryland on Route 40 and farther down the Eastern Seaboard.  He was jailed twenty-two times for his civil rights activity. His longest stay in jail was six days in North Carolina.

By the fall of 1962, Lively was back at the University of Pennsylvania. There he joined the Student Peace Union and organized a University NAACP chapter.  He also organized a chapter of the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE) in Philadelphia.  In 1963, at twenty-one years old, Lively was chosen to be the Philadelphia director for the March on Washington. He came to Baltimore and organized student volunteers to work with Baltimore's inner-city poor.  Lively was fond of Lenin, Trotsky, and Russian classical music, especially Shostakovich. Walter H. Lively got sick on his birthday in 1976. He died September 11, 6:30 in the morning, of an aneurysm, a cardio-vascular ailment. His family took his remains back to Philadelphia.


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