How many men do you hear stand up and say that their life’s dream is to be a mentor, a community servant, a protector of his community? Well, you can count Handy Johnson among those men. He is a 48-year old man who missed the opportunity to work on Chicago’s Fire Department 15 years ago because of racially discriminating practices that were designed to shut him and thousands of others like himself out. But the U.S. Supreme Court changed all of that and now he’s going to get another shot at it.
Johnson will not be held back from pursuing his dream that would’ve meant so much more back then when he was a 33-year old single dad who had just received custody of the eldest of his four sons. But his day in court has finally come. While his children may not have been able to be proud of him as a fire fighter all those many, many years ago, they do get to see their father receive justice after many years of fighting the city.
According to the Chicago Sun Times, the Supreme Court ruled that “Johnson and other bypassed black candidates did not wait too long before filing a a lawsuit that accused the Daley administration of discriminating against them for the way it handled a 1995 firefighter’s entrance exam.” Now the personal trainer, nearly 50 years old, will just have to prove that he’s physically fit enough to do the job and pray that he’s chosen in the lottery to receive a position.
Read more of his courageous story here.