AFRO Exclusive: Cheatham in ‘Good Spirits’ After Second Stroke

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Marvin “Doc” Cheatham Sr. (Courtesy Photo)

By Sean Yoes
AFRO Senior Reporter
syoes@afro.com

Marvin “Doc” Cheatham Sr., a stalwart presence in Baltimore’s civil rights community for decades, is reportedly in “good spirits” after suffering a stroke on September 4.

“He’s doing fine. It sounds like he’s in really good spirits,” said Marvin Cheatham Jr., the community leader’s son who reports his dad is speaking and resting comfortably. “The physical therapy will probably be about two weeks and he’ll probably start somewhere between the end of this week and beginning of next week.”

 Cheatham Jr. tells the AFRO he discovered his infirmed father, the former president of the Baltimore chapter of the NAACP, at the home they share in West Baltimore near North Ave. and Monroe St., in the early morning hours of September 4. Cheatham Sr., 70, was transported to St. Agnes Hospital in South Baltimore where he continues to rest. The younger Cheatham said it is the second stroke his father has suffered in approximately three months. The first happened some time in June. He also revealed to the AFRO he believes his father’s lifestyle and the stress he has undergone over the years as a community leader and some of the choices he has made in that capacity have had an adverse impact on his health.

“I explained to my father some time ago that he needs to be exercising, he needs to stop ridiculing so much, stop throwing people under the bus so much. He needs to watch his diet, he needs to take supplements,” said Cheatham Jr., 48, who currently works for the Social Security Administration, has a medical background as a veteran of the marines and the navy. 

“I kind of know what could possibly help a person to improve. So, with that said the conversation we had was before his last stroke…so my assumption, which wasn’t correct, was that he’s going to change, he’s going to change his diet, he’s going to start doing some things to improve but it didn’t happen,” added his son.

Cheatham Sr. is currently the president of the Matthew A. Henson Neighborhood Association, in West Baltimore.

Owen Silverman Andrews, a community activist from South Baltimore first reported the news of Cheatham, Sr.’s stroke to the AFRO and has worked closely with the veteran civil rights advocate on several recent issues. “Doc is a fighter,” he said. “He is still trying to organize from his hospital bed. What an incredible man.”