They Came From Pennsylvania
It wasn't about color at all for longtime president of the Blair County chapter of the NAACP Don Witherspoon who passed away in December 2020.
Witherspoon's vice-president, Bill Sweet, said that Witherspoon would advocate for civil and human rights. "We would visit prisons and answer complaints from the prisoners. If they needed representation, we would sit down with them and listen to what they had to say. We visited every prison within a six county area at one time or another." He added that the two would also address complaints of discrimination in the workplace.
Sweet says that with Don, it wasn't a matter of race. Witherspoons's nephew, Jeremiah Witherspoon Jr, agreed. Jeremiah said that to his uncle, who he describes as his best friend, it wasn't about skin color at all. Witherspoon helped thousands of individuals," Jeremiah said. "Witherspoon gave scholarships out to young athletes. He treated people the way that he wanted to be treated. He worked for equality for all people," Jeremiah said.
Pennsylvania state Rep. Jim Gregory (R-80th) was a friend of Witherspoon's. Gregory said that he was first introduced to Witherspoon and his character when he accompanied PA state Sen. Robert Jubelirer to an NAACP dinner. Gregory said that Witherspoon loved that dinner, which was his project. Witherspoon put "everything he had into it", Gregory said.
**To read the complete article check out the upcoming book release They Came From Blair County Vol 2 due out by the end of 2021.
**Information for this article was obtained through interviews with
1. Bill Sweet
2. Jeremiah Witherspoon Jr.
3. PA state Rep Jim Gregory
**Photos were provided by Linda Witherspoon