Funeral arrangements announced for Kansas City civil rights icon Alvin Sykes

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Funeral services have been scheduled for Kansas City civil rights leader, Alvin Sykes.

Viewing will take place Thursday, April 1 from 9 a.m. — 11 a.m. at Metropolitan Missionary Baptist Church at 2301 E. Linwood Boulevard in Kansas City, Missouri. A funeral service will immediately follow at 11 a.m.

Sykes died last week at the age of 64.

According to a gofundme account set up to help cover the costs of the memorial and burial, Sykes passed away at a care facility. He’d lived there since being partially paralyzed in a fall during a trip to Chicago. The trip was to celebrate the birthday of one of Emmett Till’s cousins.

Sykes became close to the Till family while investigating the teenager’s lynching. It was just one of the civil rights cases Sykes dedicated his life to.

He convinced the U.S. Department of Justice to reopen Till’s case. He was accused of offending a white woman and then murdered. The woman later recanted.

Sykes didn’t stop with getting the case reopened. He then worked until Congress passed the Emmett Till Unsolved Civil Rights Crimes Act. Sponsored by then-Rep. John Lewis, the act provides money and federal support for investigations into unsolved murders.

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