Elgin honors civil rights activist Ernie Broadnax

  • Earnest "Ernie" Broadnax speaks to the crowd as city leaders and friends honor him on Ernie Broadnax Day Friday in Elgin.

    Earnest "Ernie" Broadnax speaks to the crowd as city leaders and friends honor him on Ernie Broadnax Day Friday in Elgin. Brian Hill | Staff Photographer

  • Lester Broadnax, standing, gets a hug from his brother Earnest "Ernie" Broadnax as city leaders and friends celebrated Ernie Broadnax Day Friday in Elgin.

    Lester Broadnax, standing, gets a hug from his brother Earnest "Ernie" Broadnax as city leaders and friends celebrated Ernie Broadnax Day Friday in Elgin. Brian Hill | Staff Photographer

  • Lester Broadnax, standing, talks about his brother Earnest "Ernie" Broadnax as city leaders and friends marked Ernie Broadnax Day Friday in Elgin to honor the lifelong resident and civic leader.

    Lester Broadnax, standing, talks about his brother Earnest "Ernie" Broadnax as city leaders and friends marked Ernie Broadnax Day Friday in Elgin to honor the lifelong resident and civic leader. Brian Hill | Staff Photographer

  • Chief Executive Officer of Gail Borden Public Library talks to Earnest "Ernie" Broadnax before the ceremony. City leaders and friends honor Earnest "Ernie" Broadnax with Ernie Broadnax Day Friday July 30, 2021 in Elgin. Broadnax is a lifelong resident of Elgin and from one of the city's first African-American families. He was the first Black basketball player at Elgin Community College and was the first Black person to have an office at Elgin City Hall in the late 1960s.

    Chief Executive Officer of Gail Borden Public Library talks to Earnest "Ernie" Broadnax before the ceremony. City leaders and friends honor Earnest "Ernie" Broadnax with Ernie Broadnax Day Friday July 30, 2021 in Elgin. Broadnax is a lifelong resident of Elgin and from one of the city's first African-American families. He was the first Black basketball player at Elgin Community College and was the first Black person to have an office at Elgin City Hall in the late 1960s. Brian Hill | Staff Photographer

  • Elgin Community College President Dr. David Sam talks to Earnest "Ernie" Broadnax as city leaders and friends celebrated Ernie Broadnax Day Friday in Elgin.

    Elgin Community College President Dr. David Sam talks to Earnest "Ernie" Broadnax as city leaders and friends celebrated Ernie Broadnax Day Friday in Elgin. Brian Hill | Staff Photographer

 
Daily Herald report
Updated 7/30/2021 7:43 PM

Lifelong Elgin resident and civil rights activist Ernie Broadnax was honored Friday for his many contributions as Ernie Broadnax Day was celebrated on the front lawn of the Elgin History Museum.

Broadnax, born in 1935, is from one of the first African American families to live in Elgin. He was Elgin Community College's first Black basketball player and was the first Black person to have an office at Elgin City Hall in the late 1960s.

 

Among the many accomplishments of the educator, historian and activist is the 2015 documentary, "Project 2-3-1: Two Boxcars, Three Blocks, One City: A Story of Elgin's African American Heritage," which he produced. The documentary was distributed to all 844 Illinois libraries in partnership with Secretary of State Jesse White. He was also the originator and narrator of the trolley car tour of Elgin's historic Black neighborhood.

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