Bill Clay | St. Louis Public Radio

Bill Clay

Pearlie Evans was an activist who became a political power broker.
Wiley Price | St. Louis American | archival photo

Updated 2 p.m. Nov. 21 with service information - Pearlie Evans, a leader in the civil rights movement who helped integrate public accommodations in St. Louis and later served as the top aide to the first African-American congressman from Missouri, has died.

During the 1960s, Ms. Evans was an activist with the Congress for Racial Equality and the NAACP. She marched arm-in-arm with future Congressman William L. “Bill” Clay, Norman Seay, Percy Green and others who were working for change. “We were into everything under the sun,” Clay said.

Lacy and Bill clay, Gov. Jay Nixon, Mayor Slay - need ID on woman
Jo Mannies | St. Louis Beacon | 2013

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: Retired U.S. Rep. William L. Clay Sr. – Missouri’s first African-American in Congress – joked that it was "payback'' that his name will replace that of former St. Louis Mayor Bernard Dickmann as the official title for the bridge still informally known as the Poplar Street Bridge.

In 1980, while he was in Congress, Clay sponsored the bill that renamed the St. Louis post office to -- you guessed it -- the Bernard F. Dickmann Post Office.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: October 22, 2008 - During his 32 years of representing Missouri's 1st congressional district on the north side of St. Louis, Bill Clay, now 77, was a lightning rod of criticism, a gadfly against the political right, and a persistent opponent of the foreign and domestic policies of the Nixon and Ford administrations.