Negro Congressman Adam Clayton Powell, barred from Congress last year for misusing public funds, received a hero's welcome in Harlem after slipping quietly into New York City and surrendering himself to a sheriff on Saturday (23 March).
Powell in Harlem, the admiration of the Harlem electorate for him.
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Background: Negro Congressman Adam Clayton Powell, barred from Congress last year for misusing public funds, received a hero's welcome in Harlem after slipping quietly into New York City and surrendering himself to a sheriff on Saturday (23 March).
Mr. Powell, who feed arrest in New York because of a contempt of court citation, surrendered outside the home of a judge who immediately paroled him. The Harlem Congress agreed to obey any court orders directed at him.
Mr. Powell's lawyer told him "You're free now. You can go anywhere you want." The Congressman went to Harlem top start his campaign to seek re-election to the Congressional seat he held for twenty-two years.
Screaming fans mobbed the 50-year old Democrat, who hasn't visited Harlem for a year and a half. "Keep the faith, sweet heart," Powell shouted as one woman landed on him with her arms around his neck. He made his way through a crowd of supporters and into a ballroom where aids cleared a path.
Powell, coatless and in a pink striped shirt torn open by enthusiastic admierers, raised his fist into the air in the traditional Black Power Salute. The excited crowd screamed in response. On the ballroom stage Mr. Powell's attempts to speak were drowned out by screams of "Keep the faith, baby." Powell told the crowd this marks the opening for his campaign for re-election. "Any negro crazy enough run against me is the first negro to be crucified in the North," he said.
Powell's reception cooled later when he went outside to walk in Harlem's streets and tour the bars. Many onlookers seemed different to his return. A few young Negroes in one bar commented "He isn't with us anymore."