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HomeVideoWATCH: What Colin Powell's 'firsts' meant for Black America

WATCH: What Colin Powell’s ‘firsts’ meant for Black America

Throughout his career, Colin Powell had some big firsts — the first Black chair of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the first Black national security adviser, the first Black secretary of State.
These were especially meaningful to Black Americans, said Los Angeles Times Executive Editor Kevin Merida, who covered Powell throughout his career as a reporter for The Washington Post and Dallas Morning News. “These are huge accomplishments that your people are proud of, and he never put distance from himself and Black communities,” Merida said.

Merida reflected on Powell’s legacy during a conversation with PBS NewsHour digital correspondent Nicole Ellis ahead of a Nov. 5 funeral honoring his life. Powell died in October at age 84 from complications related to COVID-19.

Throughout Powell’s career, people attached expectations to him. It’s important to remember “He’s not a perfect man,” Merida said. But Powell ” represented some ideals … that we really hold true — that we all are part of this, this fabric of the country, and have something to contribute to it. And and I think he saw that and I think he was always trying to make the country better.”

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