A resident of Flint for over forty years, Sylvester Broome was born in Memphis, Tennessee. He came to Flint, Michigan at the age of ten and attended Parkland Elementary, Emerson Junior High and Northern High Schools. He later studied business administration at Mott Community College.
In 1956, Sylvester Broome entered the U.S. Army, serving a tour of duty in Korea until 1958 with the 24th Infantry Division. After his honorable discharge in 1959, he was hired at Chevrolet Truck Assembly. At his retirement in 1991, he was a general foreman at Chevrolet Truck and Bus. During his GM career, Broome took an active role in union affairs, and later served as an AFL-CIO representative for job development. In 1961, Sylvester married Mancine Williams who shared his interest and involvement in civic affairs. Broome was the former Director of Genesee County’s Model Cities Program. A hallmark of his leadership, Broome was insistent upon the involvement of community people in determining the direction of programs and services affecting their lives.
Committed to building coalitions and opening doors to those previously excluded, Broome was elected to the Genesee County Board of Commissioners in 1980 and presided as its chairperson in 1984. Among the many successful programs implemented as a result of his leadership were the establishment of the 911 program for emergency medical assistance and the relocation of the Genesee County Courts and Human Services Center in the old downtown Montgomery Ward Building.
Voracious reading sharpened his perspective of local as well as global issues, and he freely shared his often stunning insights with associates, and with those for whom he was a mentor.
Because of the clarity of his vision for the community, political insight and leadership skills Sylvester Broome was sought after by numerous groups throughout the area. He was a member of the Board of Directors of the Urban Coalition and served as its Chairperson in 1990. He also served on the Boards of Planned Parenthood, JTPA, Valley Area Agency on Aging, the Flint Convention and Visitors Bureau and many others.
As a longtime member of the Flint Central Optimist Club, Broome used his many talents and leadership skills in support of the Club’s commitment to encouraging the development of youth. He organized a new club in the Beecher community which received its charter in the Spring of 1992.
A dedicated individual who sought to bring people together for the common good, Sylvester Broome leaves a legacy that challenges us all.