This is the story of James Tucker: father, teacher, war veteran, publisher, activist, and man of unwavering conviction and courage.
Born in the small town of New Madrid, Missouri, in 1951, James determined from the very beginning that his life would have meaning and a purpose. James Tucker began his crusade for justice and equality while earning an undergraduate degree in history and political science from Rust College in Holly Springs, Mississippi, where he served as vice president of the NAACP. Upon graduation, he enlisted in the Army, a career commitment that included three years of regular service and 17 years in the Army National Guard.
In 1985, Tucker received a Master’s degree in counseling and student development from Tuskegee University in Alabama. When America went to war in 1991, Tucker went too, serving in Saudi Arabia and northern Iraq as a legal specialist with the Staff Judge Advocate’s Office. In between his military duties, he taught social studies at Harrison High School for 23 years. He retired in the spring of 2001.
Tucker is the originator of the Colorado Springs annual Juneteenth celebration (in 2003 he was appointed Colorado Juneteenth State Director by the Juneteenth National Board), a leading member of the coalition that made the Hillside Community Center a reality, and a tireless advocate for Affirmative Action. His untiring efforts at promoting justice for minorities and improving the quality of life in communities of color have been recognized by numerous non-profit organizations.
In March 2006, Tucker received the Southwest Region Humanitarian Award for his outstanding support of Chi Eta Phi Sorority, Inc. and the nursing profession. The El Paso County Ministerial Fellowship honored him in January 2007 with its Martin Luther King, Jr. Community Service Award.
In May 2007, Tucker received the Vernon E. Jordan Community Leadership Award from the Urban League of the Pikes Peak Region for outstanding leadership, and in 2008 he was the recipient of the Colorado Cross Disability Coalition Integration Award. Tucker has earned a number of other awards and accolades. In 2006 the State of Colorado House of Representatives presented him with a commendation for outstanding service in promoting race relations and educating the readers of the African American Voice about issues that impact the community.
In 2007, he received an Honorary Doctor of Management degree from Colorado Technical University. One of the most gratifying achievements for Tucker was being elected to represent Colorado as a Barack Obama delegate at the historic 2008 Democratic National Convention held in Denver, Colorado.
Today, James Tucker continues with no less enthusiasm and conviction, looking forward to the future with the belief that if you are willing to set your sights high enough, you can indeed change the world!