James Bruce Blackistone Sr., 95, a former federal employee who was active in the Democratic Party and other civic activities in Prince George's County, died Sept. 3 at his home in Hyattsville of complications from a fall in July.
Mr. Blackistone was a native Washingtonian and a graduate of Dunbar High School.
He spent 38 years working for the old Post Office Department, retiring in the late 1960s as a railway mail clerk.
He settled in Prince George's in the mid-1960s and soon became a presence in county politics. He played a key role in persuading the county to build the first public pools to accommodate all races.
In 1974, he co-founded and served as president of Voters in Contact, a predominantly black community group that lobbied for changes in law enforcement and county government.
Winning a gubernatorial appointment in December 1982, he served about a month as a member of the House of Delegates to fill the unexpired term of Del. Anthony J. Cicoria (D), who had become a Prince George's County Council member.
Over the years, Mr. Blackistone was a member of the county's advisory committee on aging and a citizens advisory board to the county police.
He was on the executive board of Prince George's County Council of Parent-Teacher Associations. He was a board member of the county's ACLU chapter and legislative committee chairman of the county's NAACP chapter.
In July 1965, he corresponded with Edward Bennett Williams, acting president of the Washington Redskins, about what he viewed as a slight to black ticket-holders. He was offended by the band's rendering of the song "Dixie" and the flying of the Confederate flag.
"Let's make the Negro patron feel really welcome in 1965 and not accept his $6.00 admission fee and then publicly insult him," he wrote.
Williams replied that month: "I agree with your suggestion and will see that it is carried out."
His marriages to Edith Blackistone and Dorothy Blackistone ended in divorce. A son from his first marriage, James Blackistone Jr., died in 1996.
Survivors include his wife of 58 years, Fredonia Blaine Blackistone of Hyattsville; a daughter from his second marriage, Patricia Ann Newton of Landover; a son from his third marriage, Kevin Blackistone of Dallas; three grandchildren; five great-grandchildren; and one great-great-grandson.