Entries by Maynard Eaton

Southern Poverty Law Center founder Morris Dees receives The King Center’s highest award and says “Race still matters.”

As a young lawyer, Dr. Morris Dees was once known as the second most hated man in Alabama. Now 48 years after the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., the 80 year old Dees, the co-founder of The Southern Poverty Law Center, is the latest recipient of the Martin Luther King Jr. Nonviolent Peace Prize. It is the highest award given by The King Center.

The memory of Madam C.J. Walker lives on in an Atlanta museum and new hair product line

Ricci de Forest is a Madam C.J. Walker devotee and curator of a small Atlanta museum that honors her legacy. That’s why he so pleased that the name and history of the woman who “is credited with being the grand dame of the Black beauty industry” is being revived with the launch of a new line of hair products in her honor.

Ralph Abernathy III’s Exit Interview: The curse of cancer and civil rights celebrity

Ralph David Abernathy III had been suffering severely for more than year, battling Stage 4 colon cancer while also valiantly fighting to honor and refresh his late father’s legacy. Yesterday, the son of civil rights icon and Martin King Jr’s best friend, Ralph Abernathy Jr., was eulogized and buried. Abernathy III died two days short of his 57th birthday.

Hillary Clinton stumps for campaign cash in Atlanta; blasts Donald Trump as a “political arsonist.”

For Rita Williams this was the American dream come true. The Decatur attorney, who grew up on the West Side of Atlanta and was the first in her family to attend college, was rubbing shoulders with some 250 doctors, lawyers, business executives and politicians who had shelled out up to $2,700 each to meet, hear and be photographed with Hillary Rodham Clinton at a private fundraiser recently.

Morehouse College alumni to choose their president at critical moment in time

Joseph Arrington has never been a politician, although his brother Marvin Arrington is a former Atlanta City Council president and mayoral candidate, and his nephew, Marvin Jr., is a current Fulton County commissioner. Now, however, at age 78, Joe Arrington is in a hotly contested campaign to be elected president of the Morehouse College National Alumni Association.

The “Furious Five”: A sizzling Atlanta urban Republican dialogue. Where is Black Atlanta in the “All of It”?

I now call them the “Furious Five” – an eclectic crew of friends and political knowers – who were invited to participate in the first of a month long series of “unbridled” conversations about the political issues of the day. And, they put on a dazzling, dynamic show; their debate was robust, riveting and revealing.

Okeeba Jubalo: Artist and Art Entrepreneur

Okeeba Jubalo had no interest in being your typical “starving artist” before finding financial success, so he flipped the script. For the past 19 years Jubalo, whose paintings are considered “real edgy and real raw” has been perfecting a new and somewhat controversial business model for artists. Now the 40 year old art entrepreneur is considered an industry game changer.

Hank Thomas: ‘I’m a Freedom Rider and Buffalo Soldier’

Hank Thomas is a legendary civil rights activist and a pioneer Black fast food franchisee multi-millionaire, but few people know he is also among Black America’s foremost African American art collectors. The 74 year-old Thomas is the only surviving Freedom Rider aboard the infamous Greyhound bus that was set on fire on Mother’s Day in 1961, and he may be the only Atlanta art aficionado who owns so many Black art paintings he can’t count them all.

Steve R. Allen: Is he arguably Atlanta’s best African American artist?

On September 24th President Barack Obama will cut the ribbon to open the Smithsonian Institution National Museum of African American History and Culture. Joining him that historic day will be Atlanta artist Steve R. Allen because four of his paintings have been acquired as part of the museum’s Founding and Permanent Collection.

Double Consciousness: A black history month exhibit titled “Unhealed Wounds” at the ZuCot Gallery

For Aaron Henderson, along with his sons Omari and Onaje, African American fine art is the family business. He has been painting and “just trying to tell our story” since he was an 11-year-old Birmingham boy, while his sons support him and the Black aesthetic by owning and operating Atlanta’s ZuCot Gallery in the Castleberry Hill community neighboring the new Mercedes Benz Stadium.

Stephon Ferguson: Mimicking MLK ‘is my calling’

During this 33rd annual celebration of the Martin Luther King Jr. National Holiday Observance and February’s Black History Month, one of the nation’s most sought after speakers is Stephon Ferguson, whose compelling and captivating impersonation of MLK is said to be one of the best ever heard or performed. He nails Dr. King’s tone of voice, cadence, charisma and character.

Stephon Ferguson: mimicking MLK “is my calling.”

During this 33rd annual observance of the Martin Luther King Jr. National Holiday Observance and February’s Black History Month one of the nation’s most sought after speakers is Stephon Ferguson, whose compelling and captivating impersonation of MLK is said to be one of the best ever heard or performed. He nails Dr. King’s tone of voice, cadence, character and charisma.

Janice Mathis leaving Rainbow/PUSH to lead National Council of Negro Women

She’s been Atlanta’s premier female civil rights activist since the late Jondelle Johnson, the fervent and forceful former executive director of Atlanta’s NAACP who was known as “Mrs. NAACP” for her leadership in the 1970’s and 1960’s. Now attorney Janice Mathis, the vibrant Vice President of Rainbow/PUSH has been named Executive Director of the National Council of Negro Women [NCNW], a powerful 80-year old civil rights organization focused on women and families.