Marchers from all across the city and nearby descended on the historic East Side Monday to participate in the largest march in the nation. About 300,000 people overflowed in the street of Martin Luther King Drive to honor his legacy and what he fought for more than a half century ago.
While Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. is known as one of the great leaders of the Civil Rights Movement in the 1960s, many may not know the struggle that went on behind the scenes that led to King’s famous “I Have a Dream Speech” at the march on Aug. 28, 1963.
Here are some little known facts:
Dr. King almost didn’t give the “I Have a Dream” part of the “I Have A Dream” speech. Singer Mahalia Jackson urged Dr. King to tell the audience “about the dream,” and Dr. King went into an improvised section of the speech.
The person who wound up with the typewritten speech given by Dr. King is retired college basketball coach George Raveling. A college basketball player at Villanova, organizers saw Raveling in the crowd and asked him to be a bodyguard on stage. He was standing next to Dr. King on the stage, and he decided to ask him for the paper copy of the speech and Dr. King obliged. Raveling has the speech locked away in a safe place. He was offered $3 million for it but wouldn’t sell it.
William Edward Burghardt “W. E. B.” Du Bois, the co-founder of the NAACP, died on the day before the event at the age of 95 in Ghana. Roy Wilkins asked the marchers to honor Du Bois with a moment of silence.
The official event was called the “March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom.” On June 11, 1963, President John F. Kennedy made a nationally televised address calling for a drive for more civil rights. That same night, NAACP leader Medgar Evers was murdered in Mississippi.
Martin Luther King Jr.’s speech was added to the United States National Recording Registry by the Library of Congress in 2002.
The march almost didn’t include any female speakers. It was only after pressure from Anna Arnold Hedgeman, the only woman on the national planning committee, that a “Tribute to Negro Women Fighters for Freedom” was added to the official program. Daisy Bates, president of the Arkansas NAACP who played a key role in integrating schools in Little Rock, told the crowd: “We will walk until we are free, until we can walk to any school and take our children to any school in the United States. And we will sit-in and we will kneel-in and we will lie-in if necessary until every Negro in America can vote. This we pledge to the women of America.”
An openly gay man organized the march in less than two months. Bayard Rustin is “the most important leader of the civil rights movement you probably have never heard of,” as LZ Granderson put it in a CNN column. Not only did he organize the march in a matter of months, Rustin is credited with teaching King about nonviolence. He also helped raise funds for the Montgomery bus boycott and helped found the Southern Christian Leadership Council. During the time, his sexual orientation was known, and he was often in the background to prevent it from being used against the movement.
Rustin, who died in 1987, was honored with a posthumous Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Barack Obama in 2013.
The “I Have a Dream” speech is still taught in school, but how does it compare against other pivotal speeches by 20th century leaders, such as John F. Kennedy or Franklin D. Roosevelt? A panel of more than 130 scholars got together in 1999 to rate the best speeches of the 20th century and King’s speech ranked No. 1.
Read the speed here.
Sources: National Constitution Center, SoftSchools.com, and CNN
Disturbing Attack On Teen
Arizona Police Officer Violently Attacks Black Teen With No Arms or Legs
A disturbing video of a Pima County police officer violently attacking 15-year old Immanuel Oloya, who has no arms or legs, has recently surfaced online and sparked outrage. Oloya and his friend, who was recording the incident, were arrested and charged.
The incident allegedly occurred in September at a group home where the teen was living after he was abandoned by his parents. Police were called after he reportedly knocked over a garbage can when he got upset with a staff member.
A police officer arrived at the scene and eventually screamed and cursed at the child while wrestling him to the floor, the video showed.
Oloya, who is a quadruple amputee, and the 16-year old teen who recorded the video, were both arrested on disorderly conduct charges.
Joel Feinman, the Pima County Public Defender, condemned the officers involved.
“Men with badges should not be acting this way,” he said. “Men and women who do act this way should not have badges and guns.”
After the video was finally reviewed by authorities, the charges against Oloya have been dismissed, while the charges against the one who recorded the video have yet been dropped. The sheriff’s department said they are conducting an “internal investigation” into the incident.
Moreover, several people have expressed their disgust about the incident.
“Is no one off limits?” one wrote. “This deputy would have got jumped for this now we just accept it. Cops are literally murdering black citizens in cold blood, they are beating toddlers up, wheelchair bound citizens, aushwitz survivors, punching pregnant women and we are just taking it. Why?”
“Give the details of the worker,” another one wrote. “They need to be fired. No more working with teens. Or anyone in need of help. Go work at McDonald’s.”
DNA Test Proved Otherwise
Black Man Convicted of Murder Still in Prison After 7 Years Despite DNA Test Proving His Innocence
Houston, TX — 42-year old Lydell Grant, a Black man from Texas, has been behind bars for the past 7 years serving a life sentence after being convicted of a murder that he says he did not commit. There has even been a DNA test administered that has proved his innocence, and yet he still remains in prison.
Grant was accused of chasing down and fatally stabbing Aaron Scheerhoorn, a 28-year old man, near a night club in Montrose, Texas in December 2010. Grant was arrested days after the incident because of a Crime Stoppers tip.
During the trial, no one testified about whether the victim and Grant, who was a gang member and has previous arrest records, knew each other before the incident. He has since maintained his innocence and said that he did not commit the crime. But in 2012, Grant was convicted and sentenced to life in prison for murder.
Just recently, new evidence and testimonies prove his innocence. Aside from eyewitnesses who said Grant was not the one who killed the victim, the state DNA expert testified that Grant’s DNA does not match the DNA recovered from below the victim’s fingernails.
Moreover, the DNA test, which was even retested by the Innocence Project of Texas and the DPS crime lab, reveals that the identified suspect still remains at large.
While his release and exoneration are on the process, he could have been released on bond. Last week, Grant was in court for the hearing that would allow him to be released on bond, but the judge ruled he will remain in custody.
Another hearing is scheduled in late November but his family was somehow disappointed that Grant would still have to remain in custody and their reunion was postponed until then.
“We know he’s innocent, and we’re gonna fight to the end,” his aunt, Kitsye Grant, told ABC13. “They really need to go and find the right person. What I feel bad for is the mother of the young man, the victim. They got the wrong person.”
6th Annual Rance Olison Sr. “Celebrity Sports Trivia Night” Gala
San Antonio, TX— The NFL Former Players Association San Antonio-Austin Chapter will host their 6th Annual Rance Olison Sr. “Celebrity Sports Trivia Night” Gala, October 12, from 7 p.m. to 11 p.m., at the Plaza Club, located on the 21 st floor of the Frost Bank Tower, 100 W. Houston St.
Rance “Sonny” William Olison used his athleticism to open doors that led to an advanced education and a lifetime of philanthropy. “He had a lot of great one-liners I find myself repeating, like: ‘To be a gainer, you must be a giver,’” former NFL and University of Texas running back Priest Holmes said about his friend. Olison called himself a “suitcase” player because he played in four professional football leagues including the NFL. He was a cornerback with the San Francisco 49ers in 1976. He also played for the Texarkana Phantoms in Arkansas from 1977-78, the Kansas City Chiefs in 1979, the Winnipeg Blue Bombers in 1980, among others.
Olison also served as an assistant coach for the Dallas Cowboys and instructed many young people in sports throughout the years. Wanting to empower others, Olison also become a history teacher and philanthropist. During his reign as president of the NFL Former Players Association San Antonio-Austin Chapter, the organization worked with the San Antonio-based Priest Holmes Foundation to provide scholarships for students to help them step into promising futures.
On March 11, at age 65, Olison died of heart complications. To honor all of his accomplishments, The NFL Former Players Association San Antonio-Austin Chapter will host their 6th Annual Rance Olison Sr. “Celebrity Sports Trivia Night” Gala, October 12, from 7 p.m. to 11 p.m., at the Plaza Club, located on the 21st floor of the Frost Bank Tower, 100 W. Houston St.
The event will feature a dinner, dance and silent auction. There will be several Former NFL, NBA and MLB players in San Antonio, Texas to take part in this event.
Proceeds will benefit the Mrs. Carrie Kendrix Buggs Turkey giveaway in Rance hometown in Arkansas and in San Antonio on December for families in need.
Tickets can be purchased on Event Brite at https://www.eventbrite.com/e/6th-annual-rance-olison-celebrity-sports-trivia-night-gala-tickets-65676737891
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