Adam Shakoor, a civil rights advocate, an attorney who represented Rosa Parks, the former deputy mayor of Detroit and the first Muslim to be judge, died at 74.
According to the Detroit Free Press, he died at St. Mary’s Hospital in Livonia, Michigan.
Originally born Adam Caddell in 1947, Shakoor converted to Islam and changed his name while attending Wayne State University in Detroit. During the Civil Rights movement, he was a strong advocate for change and stood up for the rights of others in his community and was an activist for equality, justice and fairness.
From the Detroit Free Press:
He became an attorney and was appointed judge of the Common Pleas Court for Wayne County by the late Gov. William Milliken in 1981. The Michigan Department of Civil Rights and the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) say he was the first Muslim judge in the United States.
Shakoor served two terms as chief judge of the 36th District Court in Detroit.
He retired from the bench in 1989 to take on duties as the deputy mayor of Detroit under Mayor Coleman A. Young. He served in that position until 1993.
As an attorney, Shakoor won several landmark decisions that broke down barriers for Michigan Muslims.
After his time as a judge and deputy mayor, Shakoor went back to working for a private practice in 1994 and founded his firm, Adam Shakoor & Associates, in 1994, according to the Detroit Free Press.
One of his notable clients was Rosa Parks. He was her attorney from 1995 until she died in 2005.
John E. Johnson, Jr., the executive director of the Michigan Department of Civil Rights said, “He was committed to service, and giving back to the community that lifted him up and valued him and his contributions,” according to the Detroit Free Press.