“He was certainly an icon for our organization and our community,” said Laraine Bryson, who in 1992 succeeded Campbell as Urban League director.
Campbell, who became director of the newly created Urban League in 1965, spent a career promoting higher education and employment for blacks in skilled trades and administrative and professional jobs. He died in December 2010, at 80.
A portrait of Campbell will be unveiled at the event, Bryson said. Painted by Bill Hardin, a local artist and president of Hardin Signs, the portrait is to hang in the Urban League office at 317 S. MacArthur Highway.
Campbell might have appreciated this year’s guest artist, Kenny Lattimore, a crooner who graduated from Howard University before he embarked on a musical career.
Lattimore has been described as a modern-day soul man. He has said in numerous interviews he wants his music to show the “strong, but sensitive, caring side of black men.”
One of his best-known songs, the Grammy-nominated “For You,” was released in the mid-1990s and has been a popular wedding song ever since. He also scored rhythm & blues and gospel hits with songs recorded with his ex-wife, Chante Moore.
The name of this event intentionally highlights Urban League’s interracial history, according to Bryson. An interracial group formed the national organization in the early 1900s, and an interracial group founded the local affiliate in 1965.
Proceeds from the gala, the Urban League’s largest fundraiser, will be used for scholarships and other programs.