Chicago Freedom Movement

Fulfilling the Dream

Tony Henry


Tony Henry was a critical figure in the organizing of the Chicago Freedom Movement on the West Side. He was a highly regarded field officer for the American Friends Service Committee during the 1960s. He died in January 2008 and the Houston Chronicle carried the following obituary:

ANTHONY RAY HENRY, 69 of Houston, passed away January 9, 2008. He was born August 14, 1938 to Lawrence Gene and Autry Thomas Henry. Anthony was saved at an early age and baptized at the Pleasant Grove Baptist Church in Houston, Texas. He attended elementary schools in Houston and Boston. The family moved to California during his middle school years and returned to Houston where Anthony graduated from Phyllis Wheatley High School. Anthony received a Worthing scholarship to attend any college or university in the United States. He chose to use the scholarship for the beginning of integration of the University of Texas at Austin undergraduate school. Four years later, he graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree and received another scholarship to begin work on a Masters degree. In 1961, he received his Masters of Education degree at Springfield College. Anthony pursued his passion for humanitarian services working for the American Friends Service Committee from 1961 to 2001. He traveled worldwide and worked for two years in East Africa on community development projects. He coordinated transportation and food for the Martin Luther King “tent city” until King’s death. He received an award from President Richard Nixon for his work in organizing the National Tenant Organization. Leaving the American Friends did not cause Anthony to cease his work to aid mankind. He continued to share his expansive knowledge with the Tenant Action Group. He served as the Chief of Staff with the Church of the Advocate in Philadelphia until December 2007. Anthony had many wonderful experiences throughout the world. He leaves to cherish his memory, his mother Autry Henry; sister Gloria Houston and brother, Douglas Henry and a host of nieces, nephews, and cousins. A Service celebrating Anthony’s life will be held at 2:00pm Saturday, January 12th at Niday Funeral Home, with visitation one hour prior to the Service. Interment will follow at Forest Lawn Cemetery.

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