Actor Ossie Davis delivered the eulogy at the funeral of Malcolm X
on Feb. 27, 1965. It was a strong statement of support for the life
of a man whom controversy followed until his assassination at the
age of 39. So why did Davis potentially risk his career to pay
tribute to Malcolm X? A letter, written by Davis, explains his
decision. The letter will be on public display this weekend.
Davis’ letter will join dozens of other historic artifacts for a
special Black History Month observation, sponsored by the 100 Black
Men of Valdosta Inc. The Sixth Annual African-American Artifacts
exhibit will be on display noon to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, Feb.
25 and 26.
Kind of weird phrasing there, Ms. Editor, given that Ossie Davis’ tribute
was after Malcolm X was assassinated….
The case originally surfaced after 15 Valdosta citizens were arrested
and charged with violating statute 16-11-34 (a), which provides “a
person who recklessly or knowingly commits any act which may reasonably be
expected to prevent or disrupt a lawful meeting, gathering or procession
is guilty of a misdemeanor.” Charges came after the group allegedly
disrupted a Valdosta city council meeting in May 2005. Calle Fielden
and Leigh Touchton, two of those arrested, appealed to the courts on
the grounds that the statute under which the citizens were charged was
unconstitutionally vague and broad.
On April 21, 2005, Rev. Floyd Rose addressed the council