Dr. Bernard Lafayette Jr. – the 2012 National Freedom Award winner – knows that Memphis is special, set apart by some of the contributions made here to the civil rights movement.
"Many people look at Memphis in sort of a morbid way because Martin Luther King was taken away from us on the balcony of the Lorraine Motel, but it could have been anywhere," said Dr. Lafayette, who will be in Memphis on Oct. 16 for the annual Freedom Award event hosted by the National Civil Rights Museum.
By the numbers, it wasn't much of a protest. Two people – a husband and wife – bearing signs that voiced anger and concern over the recent shooting death of 15-year-old Justin Thompson by off-duty Memphis Police Department (MPD) officer Terrance Shaw.
MPD Director Tony Armstrong, who has asked the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation, to examine the shooting, has said Shaw apparently was responding to an armed robbery attempt. Shaw was suspended with pay, pending the TBI results.
The City of Memphis on Wednesday (Oct. 3) launched the Mayor's Mentoring Initiative in partnership with the Shelby County District Attorney General's Office and the Memphis Grizzlies Charitable Foundation.
As part of the initiative, city employees will be encouraged to serve as mentors to area youth, either through the District Attorney's Mentoring Program or with one of the organizations that participates in the Grizzlies Mentoring Alliance.
Mr. William Larsha Sr. was a walking library of love on fire to find, create, shape and disseminate information to help, strengthen and bolster the opportunities of the African-American community. To call him a political activist doesn't do him justice. The man had many ways to lead you to consider and challenge your own thoughts and viewpoints.
I can proudly say this because in my own quest to try to write something that would be one day useful for others, Mr. Larsha was perhaps the first living influence upon my goals. I will never forget the moment I met him. To this very day, I model my teaching time with my nephews in the same manner he taught my classmates and I.
Memphis Police Director Toney Armstrong was stoic on Tuesday afternoon as Mayor AC Wharton Jr. detailed his resolve to assemble a select group of individuals with knowledge of law enforcement procedures and policies to review the department Armstrong commands.
While reaffirming his confidence in Armstrong, Wharton told media gathered in his seventh-floor conference room that, "I'm not passing judgment, but obviously something isn't working correctly. It's not a matter of frustration, it's just an objective statement."
"We are not only registering voters, but we are helping people obtain the photo IDs they need to vote. We will go to the polls. We will vote, and we will send our President back to the White House..."
– State Rep. Johnnie Turner, Memphis (D- 85)
Something happened around the nation on Tuesday that touched millions of Americans in neighborhoods and across college campuses. An estimated 1,100 civil rights organizations, churches, African-American fraternities and sororities, civic clubs, elected officials, and private citizens pushed back against what many see as a tide of "voter suppression."
Owen College – though short-lived – has an illustrious history now woven into the fabric of The LeMoyne-Owen College. For those with personal experiences, the memories are rushing forward in anticipation of the 60th anniversary of its founding.
In the 14 years of its operation, approximately 4,000 students attended the institution, which merged in the fall of 1968 to form LeMoyne-Owen College (LOC). It is significant that the celebration of the 60th anniversary of Owen College's founding parallels the 150th anniversary of the founding of LOC.