Nov. 10, 2011
MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) — Actor Danny Glover and two other recipients of this year’s Freedom Awards spoke Thursday about the importance of education and the role young people played in the civil rights movement.
Glover, Chicago educator Marva Collins and Assistant Secretary for the U.S. Office of Civil Rights Russlyn H. Ali attended a public forum ahead of a Saturday ceremony honoring the winners of the National Civil Rights Museum’s Freedom Awards in Memphis.
The awards honor supporters of civil rights who have a strong influence on their communities. Others being honored this year include former Tennessee Sen. Bill Frist, NBA basketball Hall of Fame center Bill Russell, hip-hop performer Usher and actress Cicely Tyson.
All three participants took questions from Memphis-area students at the Temple of Deliverance Church of God in Christ. They spoke about the importance of giving young people guidance and improving the nation’s educational system. Glover talked about his experience with the civil rights movement and how young people were central to its success.
“They challenged authority, they challenged power,” he said. “There is a lesson to be learned from that.”
Collins is known for taking $5,000 from her pension and starting her own school, Westside Preparatory School in Chicago, because she was not satisfied with the education her two youngest children received in private schools. She taught the learning disabled and students labeled as problem children.