Monday, January 17, 2005

Remembering Martin Luther King...

ABC-26 reports on a New Orleans minister commemorating Dr. King yesterday with a service that delivered a message of justice and peace. The justice refers to the death of college student Levon Jones; Jones died on Bourbon Street after a fight with bouncers from Club Razzoo. "Rev. Norwood Thompson, head of the local Southern Christian Leadership Conference, is calling for local people in the community to boycott Club Razzoo. He said they should close their doors, at least until the investigation into Jones' death is complete."

"If folks cannot respect us then they don't need to respect our dollars and our funds." Thompson says. "We need to spend our money where people are going to respect us."The SCLC is calling for locals to join in the boycott, but if necessary, they may ask for a larger boycott that could affect big events like Bayou Classic and the Essence Festival.

The Cleveland Plain Dealer reports that a woman arrested while trying to integrate a public swimming pool in 1963 will be pardoned by Louisiana Governor Kathleen Blanco. Blanco said she will grant the pardon for Betty Claiborne, 62, today as part of ceremonies honoring the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Claiborne, then a 20-year-old college student, was arrested with four others on July 23, 1963, at the City Park pool, a social hub for the white community. The pardon is necessary in order for her to continue her position as chaplain at East Baton Rouge Parish Prison, which she could not with a police record.

"I thought that it would speak to the way Louisiana has changed, and it also speaks to certain injustices of the past," Blanco said Friday.

AP calls Angola "the nation's bloodiest prison" while reporting on Wilbert Rideau's release after 44 years behind bars. Life magazine once called him "the most rehabilitated inmate in America."

Rideau, who is black, was convicted three times by all-white juries. He walked free Saturday when a racially mixed jury found him guilty of a lesser charge of manslaughter, for which his time served was more than sufficient.

"It offers hope to the black community. It's a new day," said the Rev. J.L. Franklin of Lake Charles, who has led a minister's group that has pushed for years for Rideau's release.

Let us know how you remember Dr. King.


jbv's Competitive Edge 


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