Dovey Johnson Roundtree: Legendary Civil Rights Warrior and Defense Attorney Dies at 104

dovey johnson roundtree

Dovey Johnson Roundtrtree

*She lived to be 104. Dovey Johnson Roundtree who was hailed as a criminal defense attorney and civil rights warrior has as died. Roundtree, who  played a critical early role in the desegregation of interstate bus travel and mentored several generations of black lawyers, died May 21 at an ­assisted-living facility in Charlotte.

Here’s more via The Independent:

In a career that spanned nearly half a century, Roundtree defended predominantly poor African-American clients – as well as black churches, community groups and the occasional politician.

Her best-known case involved Raymond Crump Jr, the black labourer accused in the 1964 killing of socialite and painter Mary Pinchot Meyer, a white woman. He was acquitted despite what initially appeared to be damning witness testimony, though the Meyer case remains unsolved.

“I think in the black community there was a feeling that even if Crump was innocent, he was a dead duck,” Roundtree said. “Even if he didn’t do it, he’s guilty. I took that as a personal challenge. I was caught up in civil rights, heart, body, and soul, but I felt law was one vehicle that would bring remedy.”

When Roundtree began taking cases in the early 1950s, there were few black lawyers in Washington and even fewer black female lawyers.

When Roundtree began taking cases in the early 1950s, there were few black lawyers in Washington and even fewer black female lawyers.

Those who did practice were banned from using the cafeteria, bathrooms or the local law libraries which had whites-only policies.

African-American clients who brought personal injury or negligence suits were euphemistically “referred uptown” – directed to white lawyers who had a better chance of winning over judges. The “uptown” lawyers then paid black lawyers a fee for referring their clients.

But the story goes that Roundtree and Robertson kept clients in their office, regardless of the case. “We worked for eggs and collard greens,” Roundtree once quipped, noting that she and her partner often accepted clients who couldn’t pay legal fees. For a time, they held second jobs to supplement their incomes.

Get the rest of this story at The Independent

‘Hope and Fury’: MLK, The Movement and The Media Discusses New King Project

Two-hour network special explores how the civil rights movement used the power of images to tell their story and change the world

mlk the movement the media - Rachel Dretzin, Phil Bertelsen, Joy Reid, Andy Lack, Lester Holt1
NEW YORK, NY – Tuesday (03-20-18), NBC News announced the world premiere of HOPE & FURY: MLK, THE MOVEMENT AND THE MEDIA, a new documentary film that examines how Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and leaders of the civil rights movement used the power of print and visual media, especially television, to awaken America to the shame and injustice of racial inequality.

From executive producer and NBC News Chairman Andrew Lack, the two-hour network event will premiere on NBC on March 24th at 8:00 pm ET and on MSNBC on March 25th at 9:00 pm ET.

Marking the 50th anniversary of the assassination of Dr. King in Memphis, HOPE & FURY: MLK, THE MOVEMENT AND THE MEDIA is a gripping account of American history told like never before by an all-star lineup of civil rights leaders, pioneering African-American reporters who chronicled the movement, journalists from across generations, as well as present-day activists who have adopted the tactics of their forebearers to shine a light on inequality in the modern era. The film offers a fresh look at the historic civil rights movement and combines first-hand personal recollections with rare, archival footage and photographs – some of which will be broadcast on network television for the first time.

From the murder of Emmett Till, Little Rock and Selma to modern day events in Charlottesville and Ferguson, the film navigates the struggles of the civil rights movement in the 1960s and draws a straight line to a new generation of activists including the Black Lives Matter movement. The documentary shows how protesters using social media today employ the same strategies as Dr. King and movement leaders when stark images of brutality moved a nation and made history. The film also highlights how today’s protestors communicate directly to mass audiences via digital platforms like Facebook and Twitter and tell their stories firsthand by broadcasting chilling, unfiltered footage in real time, as with the live-streamed death of Philando Castile. HOPE & FURY: MLK, THE MOVEMENT AND THE MEDIA explores how much has – and hasn’t – changed since Dr. King mobilized the country.

“By the brilliant design of Dr. King and the movement’s leaders, each chapter of the civil rights struggle played out dramatically on the evening news,” said Andy Lack. “Powerful images beamed into living rooms, haunted Americans and eventually brought about historic change. Today’s movements have smartphones and live streams – but they still depend on the sheer force of video and pictures to tell a story and move people to action.”

The documentary film was produced and directed by award-winning producer and directors Rachel Dretzin and Phil Bertelsen. It is narrated by Lester Holt, anchor of “NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt” and features interviews with activists including Ernest Green, one of the Little Rock Nine; Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton; Rev. Jesse Jackson; Congressman John Lewis, former chairman of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee; Bob Moses, leader of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee; Diane Nash, founding member of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee; Brittany Packnett, Vice President of National Community Alliances for Teach For America and member of the Ferguson Commission; Rev. Al Sharpton, president and founder of the National Action Network and host of MSNBC’s “PoliticsNation”; C.T. Vivian, Presidential Medal of Freedom recipient; and many more. Additionally, the cross-generational group of history-making reporters who covered the civil rights movement and are reporting today’s crusade include: Joseph Boyce, the first black reporter for the Chicago Tribune; Taylor Branch, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of “America in the King Years”; Tom Brokaw, NBC News Special Correspondent; David Garrow, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of “Bearing the Cross: Martin Luther King, Jr., and the Southern Christian Leadership Conference”; Dorothy Gilliam, the first African-American female reporter at The Washington Post; Bryant Gumbel, host of HBO’s “Real Sports” and former co-host of NBC News’ “TODAY”; Nikole Hannah-Jones, writer for The New York Times Magazine; Chris Hayes, host of MSNBC’s “All In with Chris Hayes”; Hank Klibanoff, Pulitzer Prize-winning co-author of “The Race Beat”; Bill Kovach, former Washington Bureau chief of The New York Times; Moses Newson, former reporter for The Baltimore Afro American; Bill Plante, former CBS News senior White House Correspondent; Dan Rather, former anchor of “CBS Evening News”; Joy Reid, host of MSNBC’s “AM Joy”; Hedrick Smith, former reporter and editor for The New York Times; Gay Talese, former reporter for The New York Times; Richard Valeriani, former NBC News correspondent; and Curtis Wilkie, author and former reporter for the Clarksdale Press Register; among others.

In anticipation of the premiere of HOPE & FURY: MLK, THE MOVEMENT AND THE MEDIA, NBC News Digital presents, a digital hub where audiences can explore the momentous events of the civil rights movement, experience the captivating images outlined in the film, and learn more about the leading voices in the documentary. The site offers a trailer, streaming information and unique multimedia content, including additional archival footage, photo galleries, biographies and thought-provoking opinion and analysis from some of the documentary’s key figures, produced by NBC News THINK.

To honor Dr. King and the legacy of the civil rights movement, NBC News and MSNBC will host special screening events in New York City, Washington, D.C., and Atlanta. Follow @NBCNews and @MSNBC and join the conversation by using the hashtag #MLK50.


Tracz, Hollie/NBCUniversal
[email protected]

The Largest ‘I AM A MAN’ Photo Reenactment to be Held in Memphis on Historic Beale Street

MEMPHIS, Tenn. – Withers Collection Museum and Gallery will commemorate the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and the 1968 Sanitation Workers with a photo reenactment of the iconic “I AM A MAN” photo from the 1968 Sanitation Workers Strike where the men held signs expressing their dignity.

Line-up for the photo shoot will start at Fourth and Beale which is approximately 20 feet from Withers Collection Museum and Gallery, the last photography studio of the late internationally renowned photojournalist Dr. Ernest C. Withers, Sr. The photo shoot line up will start at 8 a.m. and will merge into Memphis AFSCME Local 1733’s march to Mason Temple Church of God in Christ.

“We could not let this year pass without commemorating it in a very special way for Dr. King and the 1968 Sanitation Workers while honoring my father’s legacy in an epic reenactment photo shoot,” said Withers Collection Museum and Gallery Executive Director Rosalind Withers.

This photo will be an aerial shot overlooking historic Beale Street taken by the granddaughter of Dr. Withers, Mrs. Eboni Bullard. The prestigious photo will be displayed at the Withers Collection Museum and Gallery. The photo will also be displayed at the end of ’68 I AM A MAN, a new feature film executive produced by Southern Tales Entertainment.

“This is going to be a time in history that can be looked back on years from now and you will be able to say ‘I was there,’” said Christopher Gray, president of Southern Tales Entertainment, producer and writer of ’68 IAM A MAN.

Dr. King led many marches seeking equality and justice for African Americans and poor people in 1968, but the Sanitation Workers Strike of 1968 was arguably the most significant. The original 1,300 sanitation workers did not know that when they went on strike and refused to work for low wages in poor working conditions, that they were setting the pace for a Human Rights Movement that would live on to this day. Dr. Withers’ famous “I AM A MAN” photograph of the Memphis sanitation workers’ march told the story. Fifty years later this iconic picture continues to tell the story of the struggle for human rights and civil rights all over the world.

Individuals and groups may register online at to participate in this historic event. To learn more about Withers Collection Museum and Gallery, call 901-523-2344 or visit the website

Follow details about the photo shoot on social media and follow the Withers Collection Museum and Gallery:

Withers Collection Museum and Gallery: @WithersMuseum
‘68 I Am the Man Movie: @68IAMTHEMOVIE

Withers Collection Museum and Gallery: @WithersMuseum
‘68 I Am the Man Movie: @68IAMTHEMOVIE

Withers Collection Museum and Gallery
’68 I Am the Man Movie

’68 I Am the Man Movie
The Withers Collection

About Dr. Ernest C. Withers and’ Withers Collection Museum and Gallery: Located at 333 Beale Street, in the late Dr. Ernest C. Withers’ last photography studio and the building that was named in his honor in 1995, the Withers Collection Museum and Gallery is 7,000 square feet of Memphis History. In February 2011, The Withers Collection opened its doors to the public, inviting everyone to see what Withers had accomplished. In his more than sixty-year career, Withers accumulated a collection of an estimated 1.8 million photographs which includes images of key Civil Rights Movement events, music, politics, sports, and lifestyle and can be seen, captured in their elements, in beautiful black and white photographs at the Withers Collection Museum and Gallery. His works have been featured in touring exhibits and shows around the world. The Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington D.C. currently displays more than 75 of Withers’ images. For his life’s work, Withers was elected to the Black Press Hall of Fame and received an honorary doctorate from the Massachusetts College of Art. The Withers Collection is the largest family-owned photographic collection taken by one individual. Withers Collection Museum and Gallery includes a main gallery, a music gallery, and a special events space in our studio lounge. It is the only authorized source for licensing Ernest C. Withers photographs. To learn more, please visit

Southern Tales Entertainment: Southern Tales Entertainment was founded in 2001 by CEO Christopher Gray with intent to produce content of modern genres with an American touch of the south solely focused on mainstream appeal. Southern Tales Entertainment supports an ecosystem of projects with established and creative talent. Socially conscious projects that promote the betterment of humanity.

For press information, contact Sheri Neely with The Neely Agency at [email protected] or Jazmin Withers of Withers Collection Museum and Gallery at [email protected]

Paramount Network Presents ‘I Am MLK Jr.,’ a Documentary Celebrating the Life and Legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

*New York, NY – Paramount Network and award-winning filmmaker Derik Murray have joined forces for a new, original documentary on the life and legacy of our country’s legendary statesman, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Premiering, Wednesday, April 4 (9:00-10:30pm ET/PT), “I Am MLK Jr.” on the 50th Anniversary of his tragic assassination, tells the story and celebrates the life of this American icon from an engaging contemporary perspective structured around seminal events of the Civil Rights Movement.

“I Am MLK Jr.” features interviews with key figures, ranging from history-changing civil rights-era activists such as Rev. Jesse Jackson, Ambassador Andrew Young, Congressman John Lewis, and Rev. Al Sharpton, to contemporary writers, activists and influencers in sports, entertainment and media such as Van Jones, Carmelo Anthony, Nick Cannon, Shaun King, Malcolm Jenkins and more.

Dr. King used the power of his words to lead the movement in nonviolent acts of resistance such as protests, grassroots organizing, and civil disobedience in the fight to achieve equality for African Americans in the United States. From the Montgomery bus boycott to the Freedom rides to the March on Washington D.C., “I Am MLK Jr.” gives an in-depth look into these pivotal moments through the powerful lens of Dr. King and his closest confidents. The film will filter history through a human perspective and illustrate aspects of the private side of Dr. King’s work and life by exploring moments of personal challenge.

martin luther king jr - screenshot

“I Am MLK Jr.” will connect the issues facing Dr. King then and the movement for equality today sparked by recent significant moments ranging from Ferguson, Mo. to Charlottesville, Va. and even to NFL sidelines.

The film is the latest from Network Entertainment’s Derik Murray, who has previously brought to the screen the lives of such iconic figures as JFK Jr, Muhammad Ali, Heath Ledger, Bruce Lee, and Paul Walker, coming this summer. “I Am MLK Jr.” is directed by Michael Hamilton and John Barbisan, and along with Murray, “I Am MLK Jr.” is Executive Produced by Paul Gertz and Kent Wingerak, and Co-Executive Produced by Dr. Clayborne Carson, Director of the Martin Luther King Jr. Research and Education Institute and Professor of History at Stanford University. Paramount Network’s Jon Slusser and Jaimee Kosanke also serve as Executive Producers.

About Paramount Network:

Paramount Network is a premium entertainment destination that pushes the limits of story-telling with bold original scripted and non-scripted series. Inspired by over a century of cinema, Paramount Network is where today’s brightest stars bring the experience of the big screen to every screen with stories that are immersive, inclusive, and deeply personal. For more information, visit

Top 4 Timeless Muhammad Ali Moments

muhammad ali (iconic pic) towering over liston*It’s been a little over a year since the boxing legend, all-time greatest Muhammad Ali departed from this world, leaving behind a legacy thousands of young athletes aspire to achieve today.

What made Muhammad Ali so influential in the history of sport wasn’t just his talent in boxing, he was a lot bigger than that.

Just in case you are unfamiliar with Ali and what makes him so great, here are some of the top timeless moments that gave us a glimpse of what he’s all about:

1. Unmatched speed
Muhammad Ali has been the quickest heavyweight boxer to ever step into the boxing ring. During the 60s, no one had ever seen heavyweights move with such agility and speed. Not only were his jabs lightening quick, but so were his reflexes, allowing him to be gracefully elusive against his opponents.

2. A never seen before return
It is next to impossible for elite level athletes to spring back into their sport after a long time of being out of the sport but Ali showed he wasn’t your usual athlete. No one would expect Tom Brady or Lebron James to be the best of the best once again after sitting out three and a half seasons. Ali however, returned to boxing after a lengthy lay off to face two of the top contenders at the time. He won against Oscar Bonavena and Jerry Quarry. He also fought the champion at the time Joe Frazier and gave him one hell of a fight.

3. Ali shows his fierce side
One of Ali’s opponents, Patterson told sports centre that it was a disgrace for sport and the nation for a black Muslim to be the word heavyweight champion. Ali brushed off Patterson’s trash talk with some of his own until he tortured Patterson, making him pay for excruciating 12 rounds.

Another opponent, Ernie Terrell would refer to Ali in the press as his previous name Cassius Clay. Ali hit him on the way to a decision and demanded “What’s my name?” repeatedly. Ali was always known for intimidating his opponents by getting under their skin.

4. Man of his words
Unlike the contemporary trash talking regimen surrounding the sport of boxing, Ali actually lived up to his words. When facing Henry Cooper, Ali predicted that he will knock him down in the fifth round. In the fourth round, Ali was caught by a big left hook and he fell flushed on the floor. He got right back up as the bell was sounded but still disoriented. But as predicted, in the fifth round, Ali unleashed a powerful blitz onto Cooper’s face and the fight was stopped.

A Survival Guide to Dealing with White Supremacy

white supremacists - kkk*If you talk about the most dangerous ideologies rampant in the world currently, white supremacy will definitely make to the list.

It is like a cancer that continues to spread and grow every passing day.

The best thing one can do, especially the people of color, is to navigate the different forms of hate in any way possible.

If you are also concerned about the growing popularity of this ideology and are looking for ways to deal with such people, here is a survival guide to help you out.

1. Acknowledge it Exists
The first step to dealing with the phenomenon is to accept its existence. Denying it at this point in time is something downright naïve to do. It is embedded in everything we do in our daily lives. The right and opportunities that the white people have cannot even be compared to the ones that are there for the people of color. As soon as you are able to acknowledge its existence, you will be able to devise ways to deal with it.

2. Educate Yourself About it
The main factor of the phenomenon still festering is that not many people are aware of the mechanisms of white supremacy. You need to start with educating yourself about it. You can search for it on Google, read essays and news about it. You can also get your hands on some books like The Fire Next Time by James Baldwin and Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates. This will allow you it understand the mechanics and history of white supremacy.

3. Take Care of Yourself
The climate of the country is getting worse day by day, especially for the people of color. The people are unkind to anyone who talks about stability, safety and equal rights for all. The best thing to do under these circumstance is to take care of yourself. Try spending time with your friends and family. Try to avoid listening to the news of these incidents and take a break from all that hatred on social media.

4. Speak Out and Protest
It is time to use your voices against the injustice done to the people of color. Speak out about it and also attend any protests or demonstration being held near you to show your support against white supremacy. Check with the local community and ask them about when the next demonstration or protest is going to take place and go and raise your voice.

While white supremacy is rampant in the US currently, it is not your responsibility as the people of color to fix the issue. Do as much as you can but know when to walk away and take a break.

What Exactly is White Supremacy?

kkk - b&w*We have lately been hearing a lot about White Supremacy.

But do you really know what it is?

Here are the important things everyone must know about white supremacy.

1. What is White Supremacy?
It is a complex social phenomenon. It was invented to make the process of colonization by Europe and its determination to conquer and rule the world a natural process. The concept was that the white races are superior and they are meant to dominate the non-whites, who were considered inferior.

In the US, the concept of white supremacy came to the forefront in the 17th century when white and black servants fought for their rights and freedom together. The white elites devised a system of racial classification to get rid of the rebellion, and the blacks were made into a permanent class of slaves. The white servants, on the other hand, were given land and guns on the completion of their services.

2. It is a Belief
White supremacy combines beliefs, actions and habits. It lies in the subconscious of the people and does not necessarily rely on the intentions of the beneficiaries, practitioners and actors. When it comes to white people, they are seen as individuals where the actions of one person do not reflect on the merits of the entire group. On the other hand, when it comes to people of color, the actions of one person are generalized for the entire group. Whiteness is directly linked to being American and the people of color need to do a lot to prove their loyalty to the country.

3. It is a System
To know it in its most basic sense, it is material, philosophical, ethical, religious, scientific, political and an economic system that aims to maintain that the whites are superior to the people of color. It is a systemic and philosophical umbrella for white racism.

4. White Supremacy Today
White supremacists today are broken into various groups that share similar ideologies. From the neo-Nazis to the mainstream white nationalists, and then the modern alt-right group, there are many forms and types of white supremacy and white nationalism. There have been increasing cases involving the phenomenon of white supremacy today in the US where the people of color are sidelined and targeted in a number of ways and cases. The incident of Charlottesville recently brought attention to the increasing issue of white supremacy and this needs to be taken seriously before things get really bad.

4 Male African American Role Models to Look Up to

barack obama & family - serving thanksgiving meals

*We have had the pleasure of having an African American president recently for eight years, which has instilled in all of us a ray of hope, courage and inspiration that we can achieve whatever we want.

We can achieve great heights through perseverance, determination and courage. There are a number of African-American role models that have taught us that we can achieve our dreams by pursuing them wholeheartedly.

For all the young men out there who are looking for African-American role models, below are the ones you can count on for courage, inspiration and determination.

1. Barack Obama
This name will never go out from the list of black role models. The name is here to stay because of the achievements associated with it. The former and the first black president of the United States set the path for the future generations to follow. He led by example that nothing can come in your way if you decide to pursue your dreams wholeheartedly.

2. Charles Hamilton Houston
Well-known in the US as the “Man who Killed Jim Crow,” he was a major player when it came to the dismantling of the laws set forth by Jim Crow. He was a lawyer by profession and has played the role of inspiration for many young African-American lawyers.

3. Neil deGrasse Tyson
A popular cosmologist and astrophysicist, he served as the 5th head of the Hayden Planetarium located in the New York City. He is a master in astronomy and is familiar with everything related to it, one way or the other. He is a role model for all the young black men and women out there who want to achieve academic excellence and make a mark in their field of study. He currently hosts a talk show on NatGeo by the name “Star Talk”

4. Muhammed Ali
There is only one Muhammad Ali in the world and he was and is still an inspiration and a role model for all black people. He might not be perfect in everything, but he taught us all about how important it is to stand for what you believe in and don’t let it go no matter what. He is still hailed as one of the best boxers the world has ever produced.

5 Common Problems Faced by African-Americans Today

black woman - white women background*“Where slavery is there liberty cannot be, and where liberty is there, slavery cannot be.”

The great Abraham Lincoln tried putting liberty and slavery into a simple and asynchronous relationship for us, but how far have we really progressed in achieving the liberty we Americans like to speak so proudly about?

Did you know that the imprisonment rate for African American women is twice that of white women?

Additionally, African Americans are incarcerated at a rate that is about 6 times that of white Americans. We may not have digressed too far from older times as these statistics depict a reminiscent of a culturally honed racial prejudice that is a part of the social construct of the modern America we find ourselves in today.

Here are the four common problems faced by African Americans today:

1. Lack of family structure: According to a 2002 study, 70% of all African American children were illegitimate and that number rose from 23.6% back in 1963 because that was the year when welfare became a right according to the constitution, which made having husbands redundant. Too many African American families grow up without a father figure in the house which often leads to psychological issues later in life.

2. Dangerous cities have high African American Populations: Dangerous cities like Oakland, Cleveland, Baltimore and Detroit where gang violence and crime is an everyday occurrence has a high population of African American people who live under the government of democrats.

3. High abortion rates: It is estimated that 30% of all abortions in the country are done by African American women. This heightened loss of uncounted lives percolates to reduce respect for life and has played its role in decreasing civility with which people treat each other.

4. The victim mindset: Nothing holds an African American back more than seeing themselves as a victim who sees everything as someone else’s fault without taking the deserved responsibility to such a significant degree that their victim status becomes their collective identity.

5. African Americans make a sizable portion of prisoners: Studies infer that 52% of homicides are committed by African American individuals. Due to this high incarceration rate, every 1 in 9 African American children you pass on the sidewalk may have or might have had a parent in prison. Due to the greater likelihood of African Americans being incarcerated, their social upbringing and family support has taken the toll.

James Madison University Course Explores ‘Media Dismissal of Black Lives Matter’

black lives matter1

Students attending James Madison University will soon study “black rage” and “media dismissal of Black Lives Matter” as part of a Special Topics in Women’s and Gender Studies class. … of a New Jim Crow?” Other topics covered will include intersectional queer-led politics and “the relationship between the Black Lives Matter movement and the U.S. civil rights movement of the 1950s-1970s … Continue reading