In 1968 used his skills as a defensive tackle to disarm Sirhan Sirhan, who assassinated Robert Kennedy. The shooting took place while Kennedy was campaigning for the Democratic nomination for president and Grier, a close friend in attendance, wrestled Sirhan down until police came. Grier was not only a skilled athlete but also an actor and singer.
In honor of Black History month, each day I will be sharing with you profiles of 50 amazing African American role models who I interviewed in 1985 for my book And Still We Rise. Some, like Maya Angelou, who allowed me to re-frame the title of her poem And Still I Rise for my book, Dick Gregory, Dr. Martin Luther King, Sr. and Arthur Ashe have made their heavenly transitions.
They aren’t going to get their nails done when most of the nail shops are run by Koreans and Vietnamese.) Not eating any more Chinese food. One person didn’t go to church when they haven’t seen anyone other than black faces in attendance for decades. Another person put on a mask to go to Giant supermarket. Another said “That does it no more Chinese fortune cookies for me.” Another said if I see someone from China I am taking off running. I think if we don’t watch out we will have a convulsion of bigotry against Oriental people.
This new bombshell is the release of allegations in former national security adviser John Bolton’s book manuscript that President Trump had illegally tied military aid to Ukraine contingent on probes into former Vice President Joe Biden, Trump’s most feared political rival. In Bolton’s not-yet-published book, this account is not hearsay but allegedly firsthand conversations that Bolton had with Trump and key advisers, such as Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.
So now with the Republican controlled Senate rush to acquit Trump in this rigged trial, he will soon be free to continue using foreign countries or any other illegal acts to ensure his re-election in 2020. What the Republicans have done is to coronate Trump a King who now has the green light to operate above the laws of our democracy without any consequences.
Dr. King senior used to talk about the loss of wife Alberta I talk a lot about this in my book My Life, My Love, My Legacy and my book And Still We Rise. He told me that even after losing his son Martin at the hands of a white man and his wife at the hands of a black man he would never stoop low enough to hate anyone.
I was there when Rep. Barbara Jordan made her speech before the House Judiciary Committee on the Impeachment of then President Richard Nixon on July 17, 1974. Her brilliantly presented defense of the Constitution from a woman,. the great-granddaughter of slaves, spoke elegantly about the dignity and validation of the Constitution preserving liberty for the people, even though when it was originally executed blacks were mentioned as three-fifths of a person and women not at all. Her presentation was a major document in the forthcoming impeachment of Richard Nixon which drove him from office before the act could become official. This legal scholar from Houston went on to address the Democratic National Convention in 1976.
The one thing I have learned about getting old, when you are in your prime, when you are doing well, make sure you mentor, guide and help those younger than you make it. Because when you are old, some of them will come around and listen to your stories, drive you in your new car and just remind you of all the good you’ve done.
The most simple explanation is that we have a hater-in-chief as your president. Hateful, derogatory language about black and brown people coupled with his inability to denounce the hateful alt-right violence in Charlottesville Va which extolled anti-Semitism has emboldened hate groups. America is reaping what is being sown from the top and we must do all we can to reach up while haters are trying to pull us down.