Search This Blog

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Community Strategy Meeting to Save Our Children


On July 14, 2015, Pastor Larry Watson's Englewood Missionary Baptist Church hosted a community strategy meeting organized by Mr. Ellison Bennett, local president of the National Movement for Human and Civil Rights, which is headed nationally by northwest Florida's civil rights icon Reverend H.K. Matthews.

The purpose of the meeting was to bring together leading civil rights and community organizations, as well as concerned residents, to shift the process of talking about community problems to one of formulating an over-arching goal for the community at large, creating a strategy, and developing action plans to be implemented.

The participants from the community not only shared their stories and insights leading to a consensus on the overall goal--saving all of our children in Escambia County, be they Black, white, Asian, Latino--from all the predators and abusers, be they law enforcement officers, or killers and rapists residing in the community.

Speaker after speaker acknowledged and recognized that all our children are at risk: Black lives matter; white lives matter; Asian lives matter; Latino lives matter; all lives matter.  But, the multi-faceted problems facing communities in Escambia County are not going to be solved by more meetings generating more words.  These problems are not going to be solved by blaming parents, or blaming teachers, or blaming the police.  The community leaders and active county residents want to move beyond rhetoric and blame, and towards identifying and implementing solutions.

We, collectively, need to get out of our homes, out of our churches, mosques, and synagogues, out of our secular civic organizations, and become active in following the policies that affect all our children; attending city, county, and school board meetings and workshops where polices detrimental to our children are formulated and approved; we must hold elected policy makers accountable through participation at workshops, meetings, and by registering and voting; and, we must hold judges accountable by monitoring the disparate effects their sentencing has on young Black people vis-a-vis other communities.

Proposed Action Items Recommended by Community Participants
  • A series of inter-faith walks bringing together Christians, Catholics, Muslims, Jews, other faiths, and the non-religious to knock on doors in troubled neighborhoods and begin establishing trust, dialogues, and assistance.
  • Reclaim our children from teachers who abuse them by pejoratively labeling them as 'stupid' or 'losers' by opening our own schools, even if those community-based schools operated just on weekends.
  • Since young people shun going to church and the mosque, the church and the mosque has to reach out to young people by going to where they are.
  • A monthly donation of ONE DOLLAR from each African American residing in Escambia County would generate about $756,000 per year that could be used in a variety of ways to help children, for example, providing food for the families or paying legal expenses.
  • A young teacher recommended starting this action plan by introducing yourself to your neighbors and begin the process of helping each other.
  • SUSPENSE DATE: Community members having suggestions for more action items have until JULY 24, 2015, to send them to Mr. Ellison Bennett (see his Facebook page).
Religious and Civic Leaders Panel Discussants:

  • Pastor Larry Watson, host, Englewood Missionary Baptist Church
  • Mr. Ellison Bennett, organizer, National Movement for Human and Civil Rights
  • Brother Tarus, Nation of Islam
  • Mr. Jerry McIntosh, vice president, Movement for Change
  • Pastor James Watson, chapter president, Southern Christian Leadership Conference
  • Ms. Keyontay Humphries, organizer, American Civil Liberties Union
  • Mr. Tony McCray II, National Association for the Advancement of Colored People
  • Chief (soon) David Alexander III, Pensacola Police Department

L-R: Brother Tarus, Mr. McIntosh, Ms. Humphries
L-R: Ms. Humphries, Mr. McCray II, Mr. Bennett
L-R: Pastor Larry Watson, PPD Chief Alexander, Pastor James Watson

Civic Leaders Attending:
  • Mr. Lumon May, Escambia County Commissioner, third district
  • Mr. Doug Baldwin Sr., Republican Candidate for County Sheriff
  • Ms. Dianne Krumel, Escambia County Democratic Women's Club
  • Reverend Hugh King,  New Jerusalem Tabernacle of God
  • Pastor Smiley, vice president, SCLC
  • Mr. Joe Davis, vice president, Movement for Change
Civic Leaders Declining to Attend:

  • Sheriff David Morgan, who declined a hand-delivered invitation on the grounds that he believed the Black community could not refrain from yelling at him and would lack self-control.
Selective Highlights:

Brother Tarus, Nation of Islam, stated that police brutality, stemming from the historical development of police as slave patrols must stop; also, Black-on-Black crime must stop.  As we frame issues to be addressed, we must be very careful how they are addressed lest we receive more unintended and unnecessary oppression, like more racially discriminatory laws under the rubric of the War on Drugs that saw Black men and women disproportionately sentenced to longer jail terms for crack cocaine than white defendants for powdered cocaine.  Brother Tarus also stressed that we need to teach our children real Black history; that Black history does not begin with slavery, but with the much longer history of African civilizations having kings and queens; our children should learn about revolutionaries who brought about change, not because they should become revolutionaries, but because they should have positive role models for social change.

Mr. McIntosh, Movement for Change and also co-host of the 2nd and 4th Sunday Internet show "Our Voices," noted that the police in America have disrespected the Black community and that we must not forget that Black women are as brutalized and killed by the police as Black men.  The Black community needs respect and we need unity amongst ourselves.  Mr. McIntyre also observed that we pay law enforcement officers to protect us, not to kill us.  We see police killing people, going on paid vacations, and returning to work unpunished.  Police unions protect bad officers.  Every community, he noted, Black, white, Asian, and Latino, "eats their own" with crime and violence.

Ms. Humphries, ACLU and co-host of "Our Voices," once again warned that we must be careful what we ask for.  Too often we frame an issue that results in a disparate racial effect on Black men going to prison.  While it is important to be concerned about and address large-scale issues like poverty, our focus must be directed towards policies and policy makers that can and do cause real damage to our children.  We should focus on policies that we can change and policy makers that we can hold accountable.  Moreover, the community itself needs unity and to hold ourselves accountable.  We need to take the concern and energy displayed about the Confederate flag and redirect that energy to the more boring and mundane stuff of real politics--workshops and board meetings--where the real damage is done and where the community can affect real change.

Ms. Humphries also stressed that there are disparate racial effects from policies pursued by the Escambia County School Board and the Escambia County Sheriff's Office.  There 256 students arrested in Escambia County--a number that puts the county first in the world.  Of those arrested, 89 percent were Black.  Of the 256 arrrests, 77 were for felonies, meaning that most of the arrests were for misdemeanors that should be corrected with age-relevant punishments--not jail sentences.  She also noted that inattention to policies results in District 3 losing a public school while alternative schools--those who serve children who have suspended or expelled from the public schools--are growing.

She praised the leadership of the Pensacola Police Department for being the only law enforcement agency in the four-county area for providing a reason why they arrested a minor child and for moving forward on the use of body cameras.  On both issues, Sheriff Morgan has not cooperated.

Mr. McCray II, NAACP, noted that we need more community-wide dialogue and that we must take advantage of the opportunity afforded by the new air of accountability in society.  We need to address racial profiling.

Pastor Larry Watson stressed the "absolutely critical" importance of discussing issues affecting the community, but that such discussions needed to result in a commitment to formulate a strategy and plan of action.

Mr. Bennett observed that in the last few years, at least 39 Black people, including two women, had been killed in Escambia County.  It was a lie that we do not care about Black-on-Black crime.

Chief Alexander observed that we must learn to live together as brothers, or we shall surely perish.  An experienced police officer who, like Mr. Baldwin, rose through the ranks when racism was openly displayed by fellow officers, noted that community policing, introduced ten years ago, gives citizens an active participatory role in promoting safety, but it also generates resistance from citizenry and law enforcement because it requires change.  Chief Alexander stated that communities that come together to reduce crime fare better than communities that do not come together.  He was worried that "some worse days are still ahead" and it is urgent that we come together so that the community does not suffer.

Pastor James Watson, SCLC, was critical of the role local churches play or not play in the community.  Pastors are eager to collect offerings on Sunday, but they fail to address community needs and they fail to move their congregants out of the churches and into the community where young men and women are in need.  Pastor Watson urged ministers to join efforts to change the social and cultural environments of our communities; combat the tendency, also noted by teachers and parents in the audience, to label young people "stupid" and "losers;" he urged ministers to have personal conversations with young people; we cannot blame parents for everything that is wrong in the Black community.  The pastor stressed the need for the community to come together as a whole, meaning not just as Black or white or Asian or Latino, but as a community.

Pastor Smiley, asked and challenged the audience, "Where is the answer of solution to keep these children out of trouble?"  Pastors need to get of the churches and help the children.  When pastors close the doors of the churches on Sunday afternoon, they need to take themselves and their congregants into the community where the young people are.  Pastor Smiley also noted that white churches had to become involved in this process.

Mr. Doug Baldwin, noted that to bring justice to our community, we need a true dialogue.  Mr. Baldwin observed that he shared the same agenda as Chief Alexander; that we have to be the law enforcement for the entire community, meaning not just Black and white, but for every community in Escambia County.  But, we must change what we are doing as a community and come together as a people.  In this sense, he asked the community to look beyond labels like "Democrat" and "Republican" and "Black" and "white" and look at real policies and real character.

Reverend Evelyn Forbes, head of the non-profit group The Extra Mile, revealed that we needed to develop community service options for children as young as 11- or 13-years old, so that they can do community service instead of going to jail.  She noted that young people who commit crimes do not realize and know the effects their crimes have on people and the community at large.  She also noted that her non-profit organization serves largely a clientele of white children.  Ms. Humphries noted that this, too, indicated a racial disparity because the majority of minors in DJJ are Black, while the majority of minors sent to diversion programs are white.  Again, this is a reason to monitor the judges and how they sentence young people.

Ms. Blackmon, a 74-year old veteran of life, stressed the need to look at our common goal--a better life for our children.  All these children, she remarked, white, Black, are human beings, and we have to save our children, and leave a legacy for our children.  In essence, she said, the children belong to all of us.

Ms. Monica Johnson emphasized that it "takes a community to raise a child."  She noted that in the 1950s and 1960s it was the pastors and community adults that kept the children right.

An unidentified young teacher shared her first-hand experiences that the community needs to address the hierarchy of needs; even the parents of children in school need help paying their electric bills or putting food on the table.

Selected Photos Via Cindy Martin's Facebook Page:

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Black Women Erased--SILENT NO MORE


On July 11, 2015, Dr. Julie Kain's Unitarian Universalist Church in Pensacola, Florida, hosted Ms. Haley Morrissette's "Black Women Erased" community gathering filled with powerful, terrifying, survivors' tales of rape and sexual abuse.  Due to the sensitivity of the survivors' stories and the possibility for re-traumatization, the event was not filmed.  My own notes do not denote who exactly was speaking.

This CJ's Street Report will provide a composite summary of what the rape survivors said in a historical context.  This report will provide information on community resources available to victims of rape and other forms of sexual abuse.  This will be followed by data collected by the Department of Justice and the Atlanta-based Centers for Disease Control regarding rape and sexual violence directed against Black women.  Lastly, since "Black Women Erased" also addressed the topic of Black women--straight, lesbian, and transgender--being brutalized by law enforcement, the final section will provide information on this topic.

In Florida, "Sexual Battery is the legal term for the crime of rape or sexual assault," as in Chapter 794 of the Florida Statutes.  "Sexual battery occurs when one person forces another person to engage in sexual activity without their consent."  "Sexual battery is defined as oral, anal or vaginal penetration by, or in union with the sexual organ of another or the anal or vaginal penetration of another by any other object committed without that person's consent."  "Consent means intelligent, knowing and voluntary consent and does not include coerced submission."  A person does not have to physically resist in order for consent not to be given.

Composite Summary

If anyone has read Danielle L. McGuire's At the Dark End of the Street: Black Women, Rape, and Resistance—A New History of the Civil Rights Movement from Rosa Parks to the Rise of Black Power, you know that Black women are the heart, soul, and backbone of not only the Black Liberation Movement, but the Black community as a whole.

The idea of "Black Women Erased" is that this historical fact is overlooked.  Indeed, one speaker noted that when people use the term "Black people," that is translated as "Black men" and that overlooks the fact that Black women are also brutalized by law enforcement.  Another speaker noted that "rape victim" simply means "white woman" and the media focuses on the rape of white women who more often than Black women seek and receive medical treatment and psychological counseling.

Mrs. Rosa Parks, for example, according to the account in McGuire's book, was a long-time, experienced anti-rape investigator trying to bring justice to Black women raped with legal impunity by white men throughout the Jim Crow South.  The Montgomery bus boycott was brought about not because Black people were forced to sit at the back of the bus, but because Black women, largely domestic workers who used the bus system, were being raped, sexually assaulted, or beaten while using the buses by drivers and passengers with legal impunity.  Once the boycott moved into its initial stage, Rosa Parks and the women who organized the boycott were shoved to the rear of the movement's "bus" and the nascent Civil Rights Movement around Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. created a "cartoon" version of Rosa Parks activism.  This is just one of the legacies of being "erased."

Dr. Carolyn M. West, writing at the National Online Resource Center on Violence Against Women website noted that "Black women experienced a unique threat and danger in slavery—that of sexual assault."  From the first slave-carrying ship in 1619, rape was part of the voyage.  West noted that "historians estimate that at least 58 percent of all enslaved women between the ages of 15 and 30 had been sexually assaulted by White men."

After 1808, when the importation of African slaves was banned, Black women were systematically used to breed domestic slaves "to produce a perpetual labor force."  After Emancipation, the Ku Klux Klan gang-raped Black women as part of the reign of terror to destroy Reconstruction.  Rape laws did not recognize that Black women could be raped by white men, or even by Black men.  The post-rape brutalization of Black women by the legal system was justified by the stereotype that Black women were "hypersexual" and "Jezebels."  The Bible Gateway website describes the biblical Jezebel as a "most licentious woman," a "voluptuary" possessing "all the tawdry arts of a wanton woman" and coming from an "idolatrous stock."

Black women surviving under conditions of systematic physical, legal, and religious rape, according to West, "preserved their emotional health and dignity by creating a ‘culture of secrecy’ around their sexual violence. This historical trauma is inter-generational and continues to live in the collective memories of contemporary African American women."

Ms. Kathy Ferguson, a founding member of the Maryland-based Women of Color Network and its first paid coordinator of the network, noted that this "culture of silence" was not only due to fear, embarrassment, and shame felt by women of all races, but also "'Black women historically have had to carry the burden of the community.  You don't necessarily want to report because you don't want the community viewed negatively."

It is this "culture of secrecy" that "Black Women Erased" addressed.

One speaker noted the rape and sexual assault of Black women by Black men, as well as their brutalization by law enforcement "destroyed the essence of the Black woman" and separated her from other women.  Like the national statistics, most Black women are raped or sexually assaulted by someone they know--a male (Black or white) college friend or a family member, or even by law enforcement.  One speaker noted that an Oklahoma City police officer was accused of sexually assaulting 13 Black women during traffic stops.  He is facing 36 charges of rape, sexual battery, and stalking.

The speakers were unanimous that not all law enforcement officers were bad.  But, one speaker said it best: "All police are not bad.  But you have to call out those who are.  Or else you are complicit."

Community Resources Available:

Rape Crisis 24-Hour Hotline: (850) 433-RAPE or 433-7273.  The Rape Crisis Center at the Lakeview Center provides crisis intervention, 24-hour crisis phone line, individual/group/family counseling, victim assistance facilitation, and community education.  The SERVICES ARE FREE and AVAILABLE WHETHER OR NOT THE CRIME HAS BEEN REPORTED.  There is no time limit on the occurrence of the traumatic effect and delayed reactions are common.

Help Line 24-Hour (850) 438-1617, also with the Lakeview Center.  The service is for those at risk of crisis intervention, suicide, drugs and alcohol, depression, AIDS, abuse, relationship issues, child-related problems, pregnancy, runaways, and teen problems.

Sexual Assault Forensic Exams (S.A.F.E.) are completed at the following emergency rooms:  Baptist Hospital, Pensacola; West Florida Hospital, Pensacola; Sacred Heart Hospital, Pensacola; Gulf Breeze Hospital, Gulf Breeze; Santa Rosa Medical Center, Milton; and Jay Hospital, Jay, Florida.

Rape Crisis Counseling at the Avalon Center, (850) 437-8900.

For LGBTQI (Queer and Intersex), information/support in Florida call (1-888-956-RAPE, -7273).

National Sexual Assault Online Hotline (1-800-656-HOPE -4673)

GLBT National Help Center (1-888-THE-GLNH, 1-888-843-4564)

Statistics on Rape and Sexual Assault (Straight, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender)

For every Black woman who reports her rape, 15 Black women do not report theirs. (1)

Around 40 percent of all Black women report coercive contact of a sexual nature by age 18. (1)

Just under 19 percent of Black women report being raped in their lifetime. (1)

In 2007, Black female victims of intimate partner homicide were twice as likely as white female homicide victims to be killed by a spouse. (2)

Black females were four times more likely than white females to be murdered by a boyfriend or girlfriend. (2)

Black females experienced higher rates of rape or sexual assault in 2008 than white females or females of other races (2.9 compared to 1.2 and 0.9 per 1,000 females age 12 or older, respectively.) (2)

Overall, 18 percent of all women have been raped at some point in their lives. (3)

51 percent of women were raped by an intimate partner and another 41 percent by an acquaintance. (3)

42 percent of all women experienced their first rape before the age of 18; nearly 80 percent experienced their first rape before the age of 25. (3)

35 percent of women who reported being raped before the age of 18, reported a completed rape as an adult. (3)

22 percent of Black women, nearly 19 percent of white non-Hispanic women, nearly 15 percent of Hispanic women, nearly 30 percent of American Indian or Alaska Native, and 33 percent of multiracial non-Hispanic have experienced rape at some point in their lives. (3)

41 percent of Black women, 47.6 percent of white women, and 36 percent of Hispanic women experience other sexual violence in their lifetime. (3)

Nearly 44 percent of Black women, 34.6 percent of white women, and 37 percent of Hispanic women experience rape, physical violence, or stalking in their lifetime. (3)

Estimated number (Table 2.3) of rape victims, lifetime: White, 15.2 million; Black, 3.1 million; Hispanic, 2.2 million; American Indian, 234,000; and, multiracial, 452,000. (3)

Estimated number (Table 2.3) of other sexual assault, lifetime: White, 38.6 million; Black, 5.9 million; Hispanic, 5.4 million; American Indian, 424,000; multiracial, 786,000; Asian/Pacific Islander, 1.6 million. (3)

Research suggests that victims of intimate partner and sexual violence make more visits to health providers over their lifetime, have more hospital stays, have longer duration of hospital stays, and are at risk of a wide range of physical, mental, reproductive, and other health consequences over their lifetime than non-victims. (3)

These physical consequences include: asthma, irritable bowel movement, diabetes, high blood pressure, frequent headaches, chronic pain, difficulty sleeping, activity limitations, poor physical health, and poor mental health. (3)

An estimated 17 percent of Florida will experience rape during their lifetime, compared to 18 percent nationwide, and nearly 42 percent of Florida women will experience sexual violence other than rape in their lifetime, compared to nearly 45 percent nationwide. (3)

44 percent of lesbian women, 61 percent of bisexual women, and 35 percent of heterosexual women experienced rape, physical violence, and/or stalking by an intimate partner in their lifetime. (4)

22 percent of bisexual women and 9 percent of heterosexual women have been raped by an intimate partner in their lifetime. (4)

Approximately 1 in 8 lesbian women (13 percent), nearly half of bisexual women (46 percent), and 1 in 6 heterosexual women (17 percent) have been raped in their lifetime.  This translates to an estimated 214,000 lesbian women, 1.5 million bisexual women, and 19 million heterosexual women. (4)

Of those women who have been raped, almost half of bisexual women (48 percent) and more than a quarter of heterosexual women (28 percent) experienced their first completed rape between the ages of 11 and 17 years. (4)

46 percent of lesbians, 75 percent of bisexual women, and 43 percent of heterosexual women reported sexual violence other than rape in their lifetimes. (5)

"Most studies reveal that approximately 50 percent of transgender people experience sexual violence at some point in their lifetime." (6)

"The National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs [NCAVP] reports that lesbian, gay, bisexual, and queer people were three times more likely to report sexual violence and/or harassment compared to heterosexual people who reported to NCAVP in 2010."

"The chances that a woman will develop Post Traumatic Stress Disorder after being raped are 50 to 90 percent."

"Rape victims are four times more likely to have contemplated suicide after the rape than non-crime victims, and 13 times more likely than non-crime victims to have attempted suicide."


(1) Women of Color Network, Facts & Stats Collection, June 2006.

(2) U.S. Department of Justice, Female Victims of Violence, September 2009.

(3) Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey, 2010 Summary Report.

(4) National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey, An Overview of 2010 Findings on Victimization by Sexual Orientation.

(5) National Sexual Violence Resource Center, Statistics About Sexual Violence, 2015.

Black Women and Law Enforcement Violence

According to the African American Policy Forum's social media guide for #SayHerName, noted that although "Black women are routinely killed, raped and beaten by the police, their experiences are rarely foregrounded in popular understandings of police brutality. Yet, inclusion of Black women’s experiences is critical to effectively combating racialized state violence for Black communities and other communities of color."

The African American Policy Forum's longer report, noted that the "resurgent racial justice movement in the United States has developed a clear frame to understand the police killings of Black men and boys, theorizing the ways in which they are systematically criminalized
and feared across class and irrespective of circumstance. Yet Black women who are profiled, beaten, sexually assaulted and killed by law enforcement officials are conspicuously absent from this frame even when their experiences are identical. And they remain invisible when their experiences are distinct--uniquely informed by race, gender, gender identity and sexual orientation."

The social media guide reported that in 2013, Black men and Black women in New York City experienced essentially the same treatment by the police.  Of all stops of males, 55.7 percent were Black; similarly, of all police stops of females, 53.4 percent were Black.

Both the social media guide and accompanying report, highlighted selected cases of Black women killed by law enforcement that have not received national media attention.

Thematically, Mya Hall, Gabriella Nevarez, Natasha McKenna, Miriam Carey, Sharmel Edwards, Kendra James, Shantel Davis, and LaTanya Haggerty were all killed after "driving while Black," according to the report.

The social media guide highlighted that Shelley Frey was killed in Houston by an off-duty sheriff and Houston-area minister; Kayla Moore, a transgender woman with mental illness died after being arrested by police in Berkeley, California; Michelle Cusseaux, killed by Phoenix police; Tanisha Anderson, killed by Cleveland police after slamming her head into a concrete sidewalk; Alberta Spruil, died of a heart attack after police broke into her apartment and threw a concussion grenade; Rekia Boyd, shot in the back of the head by an off-duty Chicago police detective; and, Kyam Livingston, died after being left alone in her New York City police cell for 20 hours; she had complained of cramps and diarrhea, but officers ignored her pleas for help for hours.  Perhaps the youngest victim of police violence was Aiyana Stanley-Jones, a seven year-old Detroit child who was shot in her sleep by a Detroit police officer during a raid on her grandmother's apartment.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015


On June 28, 2015, at H.K. Matthews Park in Pensacola, Florida, Ms. Cindy Martin, Montclair on a Mission, and Mr. Ellison Bennett, chapter president of the National Movement for Human and Civil Rights, headed by Reverend H.K. Matthews, held a candlelight vigil to call attention to the families of unsolved murders and disappearances. and, to request that anyone with any information that would help solve these murders and disappearances to please come forward and do the right thing.

Four mothers of lost souls made presentations--Ms. Lucy Amos (Mr. Blair Amos), Ms. Rosa Dukes (Mr. Brock Johnson), Ms. Cindy Martin (Mr. Matthew Cox), and Ms. Lavon Brown (Mr. Labar Brown).  All of the mothers spoke of their pain that can neither be described by words nor understood by anyone who has not lost a child, and, pleaded with any perpetrators or witnesses who know something about these and other crimes to please come forward, even anonymously to Crime Stoppers.

Reverend Lee E. Middleton, Jr. of the Alpha & Omega Missionary Baptist Church, gave the invocation and served as master of ceremonies.  His daughter, Ms. Shakita Middleton, sang a gospel song.

Imam Abdul Mando of the Al-Islam Dawah Center gave a rousing speech on the moral compasses of individuals and a community, and offered his support to community-wide efforts to address violent crime in Pensacola.  Reverend Willie Demps, of the S.L. Jones Christian Academy was a guest speaker.  Reverend H.K. Matthews gave the keynote address.  His interview with WEAR TV-3 was covered in a previous CJ's Street Report.  Mr. Anthony Brice was kind enough to provide the complete video coverage of Reverend Matthew's speech.

The only video presentation not included is that of the family representatives of the Atlanta Five, Ms. Nelda Walker and Ms. Janice Cameron.  I apologize to the Atlanta Five, but I ran out of memory on my digital camera.

On November 29, 1974, five Black men from Atlanta--Mr. Robert Walker, Mr. Marvin Walker, Mr. Lee Roy Holloway, Mr. John Sterling, and Mr. Lonnie Merritt--traveled from Atlanta, Georgia, to Pensacola, Florida, to fish, an event Mr. Robert Walker did every weekend.  They were murdered by person(s) unknown.  The Escambia County Sheriff's Office did not begin to discover the men's bodies until Dr. Ralph Abernathy, president of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, threatened to come to Pensacola and open the SCLC's own investigation.  Their murders remain unsolved to this day and the family requests that anyone knowing or having heard something that would lead to the perpetrators to please come forward.

Below, are videos in the order of the speakers.  Some of the presentations start on one video and finish on a subsequent video.

Rev. Middleton, Ms. Lucy Amos, and Ms. Rosa Dukes

Ms. Rosa Dukes, Ms. Lavon Brown, Ms. Cindy Martin, and Imam Mando

Imam Mando, Rev. Demps, and Rev. Matthews (incomplete)

Rev. H.K. Matthews (complete)