As we reflect upon the life and legacy of Bob Simms, we are reminded that he was a role model to the black men of his time. Bob is best described as a Warrior.
The term “Warrior” is often associated with images of power, confidence, accomplishment, integrity, chivalry, honor and integrity.
Beginning when he was Athletic Director at all-black Carver High School in Coconut Grove, and continuing through his extraordinary service as a pioneering leader and unwavering paragon of power and respect in Miami, Bob made it clear that high principles and courage do prevail against weapons of indifference and intimidation.
Bob earned his leadership credentials by the force of his character and presence.
When he was called upon by a desperate cadre of downtown business and civic leaders to help quell the disturbance following the acquittal of police officers in the McDuffie killing in 1980, Bob quickly and quietly convened forums within the black community where people felt comfortable venting their feelings, while nevertheless committing themselves to obtain peace in the streets of Miami.
Bob Simms succeeded because he taught us to bargain, not beg; to discuss remedies, not just dialog and whine; to stand upright, and not bow to risk or threats of injustice; to trust only those who were trustworthy, and to understand the beauty of our Afrocentric heritage.
True to his noble heritage, when Bob finished his work in Miami, he returned to his native roots in Tuskegee Alabama, the spiritual home of such African-American giants as George Washington Carver and Booker T. Washington, as his final resting place.
May Bob Simms rest in peace. We are grateful that he passed our way. He touched the lives of many black men, and he made us better.
George Knox practiced law in Miami-Dade for 40 years, and served as Miami’s City Attorney from 1976-1982