The VIPP Report: Former President Barack Obama releases a statement on the passing of Rep. John Lewis

Sherlene Shanklin and President Barack Obama

By Sherlene Shanklin

Early this morning, former U.S. President Barack Obama and former First Lady Michelle Obama released a statement on the passing of Rep. John Lewis.  He died on Friday, July 17th from pancreatic cancer at the age of 80.

Here’s an excerpt from the 44th President of the United States: “Not many of us get to live to see our own legacy play out in such a meaningful, remarkable way. John Lewis did. And thanks to him, we now all have our marching orders — to keep believing in the possibility of remaking this country we love until it lives up to its full promise.”

Obama also says “John Lewis — one of the original Freedom Riders, chairman of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, the youngest speaker at the March on Washington, leader of the march from Selma to Montgomery, Member of Congress representing the people of Georgia for 33 years — not only assumed that responsibility, he made it his life’s work.  He loved this country so much that he risked his life and his blood so that it might live up to its promise.  And through the decades, he not only gave all of himself to the cause of freedom and justice, but inspired generations that followed to try to live up to his example.”

To read the full statement Barack and Michelle Obama statement

►Contact Sherlene Shanklin at sherleneshanklin@gmail.com or follow me on FacebookTwitter, or Instagram.

 

The VIPP Report: Civil Rights icon Rep. John Lewis dies at the age of 80

Official Congressional Photo

Rep. John Lewis

By Sherlene Shanklin

Late Friday evening, word spread quickly about the passing of Civil Rights icon and Congressman John Lewis.

The “conscious” of the U.S. Congress died from pancreatic cancer at the age of 80.

The Freedom Rider attended Fisk University and when he was not in class he was leading demonstrations and sit-ins.

Within the last two hours the following statements were released.

Former President Barack Obama says “When I was elected President of the United States, I hugged him on the inauguration stand before I was sworn in and told him I was only there because of the sacrifices he made. And through all those years, he never stopped providing wisdom and encouragement to me and Michelle and our family. We will miss him dearly.”

The Congressional Black Caucus says “The world has lost a legend; the civil rights movement has lost an icon, the City of Atlanta has lost one of its most fearless leaders, and the Congressional Black Caucus has lost our longest serving member. The Congressional Black Caucus is known as the Conscience of the Congress. John Lewis was known as the conscience of our caucus. A fighter for justice until the end, Mr. Lewis recently visited Black Lives Matter Plaza in Washington DC. His mere presence encouraged a new generation of activist to “speak up and speak out” and get into “good trouble” to continue bending the arc toward justice and freedom.”

Bill and Hillary Clinton say “We have lost a giant.”

Speaker Nancy Pelosi says “Today, America mourns the loss of one of the greatest heroes of American history: Congressman John Lewis, the Conscience of the Congress.

The Lewis family tried to hold the news of his passing because Dr. Martin Luther King’s lieutenant C.T. Vivian also of Atlanta, Georgia passed away earlier in the day.  Out of respect for the Vivian family they were trying to wait.

To learn more on Rep. John Lewis’ life and countless accomplishments go to https://johnlewis.house.gov/.

►Contact Sherlene Shanklin at sherleneshanklin@gmail.com or follow me on FacebookTwitter, or Instagram.

The VIPP Report: Louisville protest move from the business district to the neighborhoods

UPDATED 7/15/2020 4:30pm: From Louisville Metro Police Dept.: Suzanne Craft the individual that was served a summons regarding vandalism with racial hate messages was arrested today by the Jefferson County Sheriff’s for failure to appear in court on those charges.

This evening, members of Louisville Showing Up for Racial Justice (LSURJ) along with other community leaders and protesters will converge on the Lake Forest neighborhood located in Eastern Jefferson County, a subdivision in Louisville.

They are going to this particular community after several driveways were spray painted with racist slurs.  The protesters are concerned that there was not enough action taken on the incident to protest the families involved and to express support for those involved.

This incident(s) took place on and/or around June 29th, following unrest after the death of George Floyd and the ongoing case right here in Louisville of Breonna Taylor.

On March 13th just before 1:00 am on Springfield Drive, Breonna Taylor was shot multiple times after LMPD executed a no-knock search warrant.  The 26 year old died from her injuries.

Protests started in Louisville, Kentucky on May 29th and they continue to this day like the Lake Forest protest as well 6th and Jefferson in downtown Louisville.

The investigation is currently in its fourth month and is in the hands of the Kentucky Attorney General’s office and the Federal Bureau of Investigation, (FBI).

Follow me for up to date information on the Breonna Taylor case.

►Contact Sherlene Shanklin at sherleneshanklin@gmail.com or follow her on FacebookTwitter, or Instagram.

 

The VIPP Report: Rev. Jesse Jackson is expected to attend Rev. C. Mackey Daniels funeral in Louisville

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Special Report by Sherlene Shanklin

(Louisville, KY) Later today, Rev. Dr. C. Mackey Daniels will be laid to rest after being sick for the last few months according to a family spokesman. He peacefully passed away on Mother’s Day, May 13th.

The pastor for more than 40 years of the West Chestnut Street Baptist Church leaves behind a daughter, four sons and three grandchildren. Rev. Daniels was the first black arbitrator to the courts of Jefferson County Kentucky Bar Association among many positions held throughout his life as a community and civil rights leader.

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I understand his good friend and fellow civil right activist, Rev. Jesse Jackson of the Rainbow Coalition will travel to Louisville to be apart of the service. I do know that Rev. Jackson was arrested Monday, (May 21, 2018) just two days before Daniels funeral on Wednesday, May 23, 2018.

Jackson said on his social media page after the arrest, “The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.”- #DrMLKingJr.

So, I hope he’s able to get to Louisville in time for the funeral service.

Rev. Daniels’ funeral is at 11:00 am at the church followed by the burial at Cave Hill Cemetery. Rev. Dr. C. Mackey Daniels was 81.

Just days after his passing, 17th and Chestnut where the church is located was renamed Rev. C Mackey Daniels Way.

If you have a story idea, send it to me at thevippreport at VIPPCommunications.com. You can follow me on social, Twitter: @sherlenemediapr, @thevippreport & @vippcomm.

*Rev. Jackson was arrested in Washington, D.C. for protesting the #poorpeoplescampaign.   Jackson along with Rabbi @JonahPesner, @RevDrBarber,  & @liztheo refused to be removed in the US Capitol building.  Jackson said, together we will awaken our nation’s consciousness to the plight of the poor in our country! #PoorPeoplesCampaign 

https://t.co/uQXaKSBsBH. 

 

 

The VIPP Report: Civil rights leader honored with a street signing dedication

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By Sherlene Shanklin

There will be a community celebration to honor civil rights activist Mattie Jones.  On Wednesday, March 28th at 5 p.m. at the corner of Louis Coleman Jr. Drive and River Park Drive there will be a street sign dedication.

Councilwoman Cheri Bryant Hamilton of District 5 will join Jones and members of her family and friends will unveil an honorary sign on the block where she lives as a tribute to her accomplishments and efforts for advancing civil rights in Metro Louisville.

At the age of 84, Mattie continues to challenge people and issues that treat people of color in a negative light.  You see her being interviewed by the media and protesting throughout the city but she has worked behind the scenes with civil rights leaders all across the United States but she supported her great friend the late Rev. Louis Coleman on a daily basis with issues and situations across Kentucky and parts of Southern Indiana. Their call to duty had no limitations on distance.

Mattie cared for over 100 children as a foster mother.  She raised them right along with her eight children.  Mattie will be 85 years old on the day of the celebration and dedication.

So on Wednesday, March 28th at 5 p.m. supporters of Mattie Jones will come out and support the mother to children who needed love, people who needed support and she’s the woman who stands up for what is right without even knowing your name.

Now, the public will have a chance to say thank you to the unsung leader who continuously chants for all people…No Justice, No Peace.

If you have a story idea, send it to me at thevippreport@vippcommunications.com.  You can follow this column on Twitter @thevippreport and @vippcomm.

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The VIPP Report: Louisville, KY played an integral part in the success of journalist & civil rights leader Ida B. Wells

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THE TWO-WOMAN PLAY IS SET DURING THE TURN OF THE CENTURY BUT IRONICALLY RESEMBLES TODAY’S SOCIETUIAL ISSUES

(LOUISVILLE, KY) The Kentucky Center for African American Heritage, (KCAAH) in collaboration with Simmons College of Kentucky presents: Miss Ida B. Wells, a play by Endesha Ida Mae B. Wells and directed by Nefertiti Burton. There will be two performances on Sunday, October 22nd at the KCAAH located at 1701 W. Muhammad Ali Blvd. The afternoon matinee begins at 3:30 p.m. and the evening show will begin at 7:30 p.m.

Ida B. Wells was a civil rights pioneer and one of the founding members of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, (NAACP), and journalist.  She was very influential because she had the gift of writing but she never received money for craft. That untold story brings you to Louisville. Rev. Dr. William J. Simmons, born a slave became the publisher of the American Baptist Newspaper, President of the National Press Association and the second president of the college we know today as Simmons College of Kentucky, a HBCU. Rev. Simmons paid Wells for her stories and made her a correspondent for the paper.  Wells went on to be known as the “Princess of the Press” and traveled to write for the American Baptist.

Tickets for Ida B. Wells are $10 in advance and $15 at the door. You can purchase at KCAAH or Eventbrite https://www.eventbrite.com/e/miss-ida-b-wells-tickets-38476552404.

To setup an interview and/or short performance contact VIPP Communications at info@vippcommunications.com. 

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The Kentucky Center for African American Heritage’s (KCAAH) mission is to enhance the public’s knowledge about the history, heritage and cultural contributions of African Americans in Kentucky. In addition to its commitment to preserving the traditions and accomplishments of the past, the Center is a vital, contemporary institution, providing space for cultural programs, exhibitions and performances of all types. KCAAH’s brand is “One More River to Cross,” a history examined through Kentucky stories about African American history from its African origins through the Freedom Struggle against slavery and Jim Crow laws, to the modern Civil and Human Rights Movements in the 20th century.

!cid_C5A664E86DDE4FF19B737E7F6159E0FA@SherlenePC

The VIPP Report: A lecture series named in honor of a Louisville civil rights leader welcomes Angela Davis

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Special from Sherlene Shanklin, WHAS11 Television, ABC affiliate Louisville  

The person who said “We have to talk about liberating minds as well as liberating society” will be a part of the 10th annual Anne Braden Memorial Lecture Series at the University of Louisville .  Angela Davis, one of the nation’s leading advocates for prison reform and abolition, gender equity, and racial and economic justice will be their guest.  The social justice activist’s topic will be “Freedom is a Constant Struggle”.

The free event will be held on Tuesday, November 15th in the Brown &  Williamson Club at Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium on Floyd Street.  All seating is first come, first served basis for the 6:00 p.m. talk.

Davis is an accomplished author and lecturer with engagements all over the United States, Europe, Africa, Asia, Australia and South America.  She’s published eight books including an anthology of her writings and speeches: “Freedom is a Constant Struggle: Ferguson, Palestine and the Foundations of a Movement.”

Following the talk, there will be a book signing.

This educator and a vocal activist in the Civil Rights Movement draws upon her own experiences in the early seventies as a person who spent eighteen months in jail and on trial, after being placed on the FBI’s “Ten Most Wanted List.

You may remember that Davis was a visiting professor with the University of Louisville in 2002.  She taught women’s and gender studies course.

Davis, a longtime friend of the late Anne and Carl Braden, wrote the foreword to the biography “Subversive Southerner: Anne Braden and the Struggle for Racial Justice in the Cold War South,” written by institute director and UofL professor Cate Fosl.

This lecture series and institute are named for the Bradens who were active in the civil rights movement in Louisville

To learn more about the 10th annual Anne Braden Memorial Lecture Series go to www.louisville.edu/braden.

You can also follow me on Twitter @Sherlenemediapr and Instagram @Sherlenemediapro.

TheVIPPReport@vippcommunications.com Twitter @VIPPComm @Thevippreport

The VIPP Report: Remembering Civil Rights leader Sen. Georgia Davis Powers

SenPowersSherleneShanklin
The worst feeling in the world to wake up to two dozen text and phone calls that a friend has died.  I drove past her home Friday and looked up.  My heart knew but mind won’t let it be.  I checked on Sen. Georgia Davis Powers on a regular basis.  Initially, some 40 years ago, I had no idea what her title or position was I just knew her as a neighbor on Cecil Avenue in West Louisville.  To hear that she died this morning my heart literally sunk.  I’ve been preparing myself for about a week to get the call but its never easy.  I even refused to write anything because I wanted to write it from the heart.
Georgia Davis Powers was born in Springfield, Kentucky on October 19, 1923.  One of nine children in which she was the only girl.  As a young girl the family moved to Louisville and eventually moved to the street that Cassius Clay known today as Muhammad Ali lived on, which was Grand Avenue.  She used to joke about babysitting Ali along with her brothers.  She would marry her first husband Norman Davis and adopt a son, William “Billy” Davis.  I know her second husband James Powers because that’s when we met.  Well, being four years old on a tricycle is actually how we met.  My job was to ride my bike from my parents house to Senator Power’s house and back.  I had the opportunity to speed up and down that five house distance to my pleasure without a care in the world.  While she was making history.
Who would of thought that 20 years later after college, I would talk to her and she referenced that I was the pretty little girl that had the two long ponytails that used her house as a marker to turn around and ride back down the street.  Back then everyone knew their neighbors and actually looked out for them.  She talked about my parents being the cute young couple that moved on the block.
I was so shocked when she said that.  I used to see her and her husband jump into a big beautiful car and I used to say “I want a car like that when I grow up.” Not knowing that her husband owned a car dealership and that in 1967 she was the first person of color and the first woman elected to the Kentucky State Senate.
Senator Powers worked actively for many years in the NAACP and that’s when she along with the president of the Louisville chapter gave me opportunities to work along side them and helped me perfect so many of the things I do today.  I’ve had countless chances to sit and listen to the senator.  When I started working for WHAS11 Television she would always say “If you ever need anything just call me” and I did.  We were together when the Western Branch Library celebrated their 100th birthday to the 2010 renaming of the Shawnee Expressway to the Georgia Davis Powers Expressway.  She used to call the newsroom and say “Sherlene I need for you to talk to your guys they just said the name of the expressway incorrect.” I would say yes ma’am and get it changed.  To many its something minor but for a woman that changed the climate of Kentucky politics it’s a major thing.
I would sit in the living room and talk about her 1964 March on the State Capitol in Frankfort.  She along with other leaders wanted to support equity in public accommodations.  Civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and baseball legend Jackie Robinson walked with Powers.
She was very open with me about her friendship with Dr. King.  She even told me that she was at the Lorraine Motel in Memphis when King was assassinated in 1968.
Powers retired from her seat in the Kentucky Senate in 1988 but her civil and human rights never stopped.  Just a few days ago she posted something on her social media page, yes, she had a page.
If you have a story idea, send it to me at sshanklin@whas11.com.  You can follow me on Twitter @Sherlenemediapr and Instagram at Sherlenemediapro.
The VIPP Report: Twitter @VIPPComm Email: TheVIPPReport at vippcommunications dot com.

 

The VIPP Report: American University releases a statement on the passing of civil rights champion Julian Bond

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The American University community mourns the loss of civil rights champion and educator Julian Bond.  Julian Bond served as distinguished adjunct professor in the School of Public Affairs at American University from the 1990s – 2015. While at American University, Bond incorporated into his classes his personal experiences from being a student of Martin Luther King, Jr. and serving on the frontlines of the Civil Rights Movement where he helped to establish the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC).  Bond also explained how the Civil Rights Movement served as a model for subsequent movements including the Gay Rights Movement.

“Julian Bond was a gifted teacher and mentor and a giant in the Civil Rights Movement. He provided a bridge to the civil rights struggles from the 1960s and the challenges that still remain for equality and justice,” said American University president Dr. Neil Kerwin. “Our students benefited from his first-hand knowledge of activism in the face of adversity and winning against tough odds.”

“Julian Bond brought his history as a leader in the Civil Rights Movement and an ongoing focus on social activism to American University’s School of Public Affairs,” said School of Public Affairs dean Barbara Romzek. “He made an indelible mark on the School, our faculty and staff, and the students he taught. It was an honor and privilege to have him with us for so many years.”

Last spring Bond taught Advanced Studies in Public Policy: Politics of Civil Rights Movement. This fall he would have taught an Honors Colloquium in Arts & Humanities: Oral History of Civil Rights Movement.

If you have a story idea, send it to TheVIPPReport@vippcommunications.com.  You can follow us on Twitter @VIPPComm.

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The VIPP Report: Civil rights leader Julian Bonds dies at the age of 75

naacpphotoJulian Bond, a civil rights activist and longtime board chairman of the NAACP, has died.  The Southern Poverty Law Center says in a statement that Bond died Saturday night in Fort Walton Beach, Florida after a brief illness. The Nashville, TN native was considered an icon of the 1960s civil rights movement.

Bond is survived by his wife, Pamela Horowitz and five children.  Julian Bond was 75 years old.

The VIPP Report: A gospel musical was created to honor a Louisville civil rights leader

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Special from Sherlene Shanklin, WHAS11 Television, ABC Affiliate

I used to use the number 445-2509 religiously.  It belonged to the late Rev. Louis Coleman.  To his close friends they used to call him “Buster”.  I called him “Revy Rev”.  If you knew him personally, you knew he was passionate about others especially when it came to civil rights.  He had no problem telling you like it is.

I was his producer for his radio show “Coleman Speaks”.  We both were new to the positions but we worked hard to make it a successful show.  Coleman was so unpredictable that he kept me sharp and on my toes.  Our show would start at 9 am on Saturdays and most days he got there just minutes before the show started.  Some days he would cut it so close, I would say to myself “You better go grab a newspaper and get ready to talk about hot topics because he’s not going to make it.” He never let me down, it was actually comical looking back on it.

On several occasions, Coleman would hand me his phone and tell me “If it rings, answer it”.  I found myself in disbelief some days when I answered his phone.  I’ve spoken to  Martin Luther King III, son of the late Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr;  Rev. Jesse Jackson sitting on the airport tarmac holding up the departure so he could talk to Coleman on the show and activist Dick Gregory.

If “Rev” was  still alive, he would be travelling to other cities that’s made national headlines in in his purple van supporting other leaders like they supported him.

Former Courier Journal journalist Larry Muhammad decided to create a tribute for the civil rights leader.  It’s fondly named Buster! A Gospel Musical.  Gregory Rahming has some big shoes to fill.  He will be Coleman.  Sheryl Rouse will be Mattie Earl Mathis, Samina Raza is Anne Braden, Chauncey Arnold will be Willie Gray, Shane Dickerson as Rev. Bobby Burks and Ernie Adams will play Rev. George Edwards.

If you had to be around Coleman you would always see him with a clipboard, cell phone and his bull horn.

Muhammad will use that bull horn as a symbol of compassion and power by one of the most outspoken leaders of our time.

You can see Buster! At the Henry Clay Theatre at 604 S. Third Street.  Opening night is Thursday, July 16th and it runs through the 26th.  Tickets are $20 at the door and show time is at 7:30 pm.  For additional information you can call 502-727-7972.

If you have a story idea, send it to me at The411@whas11.com.  You can follow me on Twitter @Sherlenemediapr and Instagram Sherlenemediapro.

TheVIPPReport@vippcommunications.com @VIPPComm

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The VIPP Report: The Civil Rights Barnstorming Tour makes a stop in Louisville with pitching star Mo’ne Davis

Courtesy: Muhammad Ali Center

Courtesy: Muhammad Ali Center

Special report contributed by Sherlene Shaklin, WHAS11 Television, ABC Louisville

Today, the Muhammad Ali Center received some very special guests.  The Anderson Monarchs arrived in Louisville and wanted to take a tour of the facility.  The Monarchs also feature youth pitching sensation Mo’ne Davis.  In the photo you see her standing next to the Ali Center’s President Donald Lassere.  The young Monarchs will be getting a first-hand look at the places where the major civil rights events of the 20th century took place as part of their Civil Rights Barnstorming Tour.  They will meet people who were involved in the Movement, as well as African American ballplayers who played during this era. They’ll also play games against local youth teams in every city and get a chance to make new friends from all around the country.

This summer, as a tribute to Jackie Robinson, the Negro Leagues, and the Civil Rights Movement, their  13 year-old Anderson Monarchs is embarking on a 23-day, 21-city journey – barnstorming their way across America – down through the Deep South, up through the Mid-West, and back east to New York City and, ultimately, back home to Philadelphia – over 4000 miles in all. They are doing this on an authentic Flxible Clipper touring bus.

I just spoke to the coach, and he tells me that the team will play tonight against another local youth team in Skyview Park in Louisville at 7:00 p.m.

The purpose of the tour is to have the youth meet surviving players from the Negro Leagues, visit historic sites – such as Jackie Robinson’s grave site in Brooklyn, Wrigley Field, the Field of Dreams in Iowa, the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum, the Louisville Slugger Museum, the three remaining stadiums in the country which Negro League teams called home, and the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, NY.

For additional information on the Civil Rights Barnstorming Tour visit their website at:   http://andersonmonarchs.org/tour/index.html

If you have a story idea, send it to me at The411@whas11.com.  You can also follow me on Twitter @sherlenemediapr, Instagram Sherlenemediapro.

The VIPP Report: 50th Anniversary March on Frankfort

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The VIPP Report:  March 5, 2014 marks the 50th anniversary on the “March on Frankfort” which was initially in support of equity in public accommodations.   We spoke to the last surviving organizer Sen. Georgia Davis Powers.   In 1967, Powers became the first person of color and the first woman elected to the Kentucky State Senate. She will be in attendance Wednesday and at the age of  80 will take the historic walk once again.  Powers says she will be speak right after the Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear in the program.

The rally will commemorate what Civil Rights leaders accomplished by urging Kentucky to pass a law that would help end segregation by making discrimination illegal in the area of public accommodations such as stores, restaurants, theatres, and hotels.  The march helped build support for the U.S. Civil Rights Act of 1964 and helped result in the Kentucky Civil Rights Act of 1966.

Local organizers will meet at the Kentucky Center for African American Heritage and convoy to Frankfort, Kentucky.
The VIPP Report will take you up close to the place where Dr. Martin Luther King, baseball Hall of Famer Jackie Robinson,  Sen. Georgia Davis Powers, Kentucky Civil Rights leaders and 10,000 marchers converged on the capitol in Frankfort, Kentucky in 1964 making the Bluegrass state the first south of the Mason-Dixon Line to have a state Civil Rights Act.

The march will begin at 10:00 a.m. People will gather at the corner of 2nd Street and Capital Avenue at 9:30 a.m. to line up in order to proceed to the State Capitol, 700 Capitol Ave.
Follow us on Twitter @VIPPComm.  If you have photos you want to share send them to TheVIPPReport@vippcommunications.com.