Dr. Marvin L ‘Doc’ Cheatham, Sr.
May the work I’ve done speak for me - is a quote epitomizing the life, service and work of ‘Doc’ Cheatham.
A Baltimore native who may be the only person in America that has served as local president for the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, National Action Network, 2 Local Phi Beta Sigma Alumni Chapters and the City Election Board.
Marvin’s legacy may have been written, in some great part, on Saturday, July 22, 2017, 2 days before his 67th birthday, when the City of Baltimore designated the 1500 block of N. McKean Avenue, where he was the visionary and developer of the “Easterwood/Sandtown Park & Playground, as “Marvin ‘Doc’ Cheatham Way.’
Of his accomplishments he honors greatly: (1) Leading Maryland's efforts to restore voting rights for former felons; (2) Leading the successful effort to sue the City of Baltimore and Mayor O'Malley for illegal arrest; (3) Having registered more voters, since 1971, than anyone in the state of Maryland; (4) Initiating the legislation to double fines for liquor stores being penalized for selling drugs to minors; and (5) Leading the call as President of the Matthew A. Henson Neighborhood Association for the removal of the Jackson/Lee Confederate Statues in Wyman Park of Baltimore City.
Here in the City of Baltimore and State of Maryland Marvin has, since 1971, registered more voters that anyone. Being inspired by the late great Fannie Lou he can also take credit for his leading the initial successful legislative movement to obtain voting rights for Maryland former felons though has creation of the Maryland Voting Rights Restoration Coalition. Through this organization he produced and co-hosted a 2-hour radio show on WOLB 1010 and a 1-hour public access cable television show entitled ‘Voting Rights Today.’
Dr. Cheatham, over 45 years later, is still having his expertise requested to inspire, educate and train citizens on the great importance of voting.
He honors most the Honorary Doctorate Degree awarded him by Sojourner Douglass College.
‘Doc’ is a Life Member of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc. and has received the highest award that any Sigma can receive which is the Distinguished Service Chapter. Out of over 100,000 members less than 200 members have received this distinction and he is #124. He served as International Coordinator for Phi Beta Sigma for the Million Man March which was hosted by Phi Beta Sigma.
He was a lead Plaintiff in the winning lawsuit against then Mayor Martin O’Malley and the City of Baltimore for “illegal arrest.”
Also, a Life Member of the NAACP he is the past local branch president for the award-winning Baltimore City Branch and has served twice as the NAACP Maryland State Conference Political Action Chair.
Finally, through his leadership as the President of Matthew A. Henson Neighborhood Association he led the successful initiative on July 1, 2015 that called for the Mayor of Baltimore City to remove the Stonewall Jackson and Robert E. Lee confederate statues from Wyman Park in Baltimore City.
Interview with Kimberly Klacik