Roxboro City Councilman Byrd Blackwell was remembered as “a compassionate and patient leader who never met a stranger.” The councilman passed away recently after a brief illness as tributes, adorations and commendations continue to flow freely about him and his work, throughout the community.
He presented himself as a stalwart and mentor for many Roxboro citizens. Everybody was somebody to him.
As we look forward to a replacement for the irreplaceable, a reflection on the councilman’s record and role serve as a backdrop and worthy standard. He cared about our seniors and showed support based on the role he played with changes and improvements to the Person County Senior Center and served on the advisory board. The councilman showed focus on policies ensuring fairness and equity for all. He was civic-minded as evidenced by his role in the American Legion and as a charter member of the Roxboro Person County Ministerial Alliance. As the only African-American member of the Roxboro City Council, he emphasized equality and diversity of thoughts based on his perspective, ensuring a balance of ideas being presented to residents and stakeholders.
A commitment to equality, an unshakable commitment to the community, a solid moral compass, the ability to uplift at times of great strife are but a few of the qualities possessed by the belated councilman that should be highly sought when seeking a replacement. As citizens, we have some really big shoes to fill as thoughts, prayers and sincere gratitude for his outstanding work continue to be offered to the family and friends for his service.