Illinois General Assembly - Full Text of HR0698
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Full Text of HR0698  102nd General Assembly




HR0698LRB102 26520 LAW 37086 r


2    WHEREAS, The members of the Illinois House of
3Representatives are saddened to learn of the death of longtime
4LGBTQ+ activist and journalist Maxsonn "Max" Smith, who passed
5away on February 9, 2022; and
6    WHEREAS, Max Smith was born in Hickory, North Carolina on
7February 9, 2022; he graduated from Jefferson City High School
8in Jefferson City, Missouri; he received his bachelor's degree
9in Communication Arts from Michigan State University in 1976,
10where he served as president of Michigan State Gay Liberation,
11now known as the Alliance of Queer and Ally Students, during
12his junior and senior years; and
13    WHEREAS, Max Smith moved to Chicago as an out gay man
14shortly after graduating college, where he pursued LGBTQ+
15activism through journalism; he began working in the Real
16Estate Advertising Sales Department of the Chicago Tribune and
17later at Time-Life; he was also a writer for the Windy City
18Times, Identity, BLK and Blacklight magazines, the
19discontinued BLACKlines, and the Habari Daftari National
20Coalition of Black Lesbian and Gays (NCBLG) newsletter; his
21writing was also featured in the book anthology titled In the
22Life; he edited the Black men's LGBTQ+ relationships book
23titled Staying Power! and self-published the book African



HR0698- 2 -LRB102 26520 LAW 37086 r

1Americans 3rd Rail: Same-Gender-Loving, which conveyed the
2intersection of racism and homophobia; and
3    WHEREAS, Max Smith held leadership roles in several LGBTQ+
4activist organizations, including the Chicago chapter of the
5NCBLG as founder and the Illinois Gay and Lesbian Rights Task
6Force as treasurer; he also served as an organizer of the
7United Faith Affinitas Church and a founding member of the
8Lighthouse Church of Chicago; he was a member of Adodi
9Chicago, the Black Bible Study Group, BROTHERRS, the Church of
10the Open Door, the Committee to Increase Black Lesbian/Gay
11Awareness, the Good Shepherd Parish Metropolitan Community
12Church, the National Black Lesbian and Gay Leadership Forum,
13and the Third World Gay and Lesbian Christian Conference; he
14also participated in the concurrent Third World Lesbian and
15Gay Conference at Howard University in Washington, D.C. and
16the National March on Washington for Lesbian and Gay Rights in
17October 1979; and
18    WHEREAS, Max Smith was inducted into the Chicago LGBT Hall
19of Fame in 1991; he also challenged Operation PUSH and the
20NAACP to be LGBTQ+ friendly in their actions and statements;
21throughout his life, he made an effort to educate people on
22race, faith, and sexual identity; and
23    WHEREAS, Max Smith was known for being caring, selfless,



HR0698- 3 -LRB102 26520 LAW 37086 r

1and welcoming; he was a big brother and friend to many; his
2home was known as a place of refuge that he built for Black
3LGBTQ+ men in Chicago experiencing homelessness; he sheltered
4dozens of Black LGBTQ+ men over the years, including Black
5LGBTQ+ immigrants seeking asylum in the U.S.; through his
6help, many of the people he sheltered are living fulfilling
7lives with homes of their own today; and
8    WHEREAS, Max Smith is survived by his sister, Joyce Hooks;
9his cousin, Phyllis Razeeq; and countless chosen family
10members and friends; therefore, be it
13we mourn the passing of Maxsonn "Max" Smith and extend our
14sincere condolences to his family, friends, and all who knew
15and loved him; and be it further
16    RESOLVED, That a suitable copy of this resolution be
17presented to the family of Max Smith as an expression of our
18deepest sympathy.