JIS News

Late former Prime Minister, Michael Manley, was formally accorded his place in the pantheon of the world’s foremost civil rights champions, with a posthumous induction into the International Civil Rights Walk of Fame in Atlanta, Georgia, on Saturday, (Jan. 12).
Mr. Manley’s footprints were unveiled by his widow, Glynne Manley, alongside ten other revered civil rights luminaries, on the International Civil Rights Walk of Fame, located at the Martin Luther King, Jr. National Historic Site, on Auburn Avenue, downtown Atlanta.
The former Prime Minister is the first Jamaican leader to be inducted into the International Civil Rights Walk of Fame, sharing that status with such other American civil rights icons as poet Maya Angelou; singer-dancer Sammy Davis, Jr.; activist Benjamin Hooks; radio host Tom Joyner; and Martin Luther King’s attorney, Clarence B. Jones. At the ceremony held at the historic Ebenezer Baptist Church, Trumpet Awards Foundation’s Executive Director, Xernona Clayton, said, “Today is a very special day for the International Civil Rights Walk of Fame, as we induct an outstanding son of Jamaica, whose legacy will live on.”
She pointed out that the former Prime Minister of Jamaica was selected for induction into this Civil Rights Walk of Fame based not only on the outstanding contribution he made during his lifetime, but also because of his powerful enduring legacy in civil rights, sharing in some of the dreams and struggles of legendary civil rights leader, Martin Luther King, Jr.
In her response to the glowing tribute Mrs. Manley thanked the Foundation for the honour bestowed upon her late husband, and pointed out that this honour also goes to the citizens of Jamaica. She said that Mr. Manley always maintained that justice must be universal whether in terms of domestic or international economic relations or the power equations between races. Those who knew him understood that the most persistent impulse that motivated him throughout his life and career was his passion for equality and justice, she said. Meanwhile, Chairman of the Michael Manley Foundation, Danny Roberts, who accompanied Mrs. Manley, said that Mr. Manley’s induction is a momentous one. “To have him honoured in this way ten years after his death, endorses his philosophy and ideas that he has always expounded,” he remarked. A significant part of the ceremony was the presentation of the International Civil Rights Medal to Mrs. Manley by Vice President of Good Works International, Sylvia Ashley. A pair of Mr. Manley’s shoes is now on display and forms part of the historical International Civil Rights Walk of Fame exhibition, which will be mounted internationally.
Mr. Manley’s footprints will join others from previous years, including those of: former United States Presidents, Bill Clinton, Jimmy Carter and Lyndon B. Johnson; current Atlanta Mayor Shirley Franklin and former mayors Andrew Young, and the late Maynard Jackson; the late former Bahamian Prime Minister Lynden Pindling; Harry Belafonte; Stevie Wonder; Sidney Poitier; Lena Horne; Congresswoman Maxine Waters; Archbishop Desmond Tutu; Dick Gregory, Julian Bond; Medgar Evers; Rosa Parks; and Thurgood Marshall. The International Civil Rights Walk of Fame was created five years ago as an added feature of the Trumpet Awards, and recognises those who sacrificed and struggled to make equality a reality for all. The Civil Rights Walk of Fame display has become one of Atlanta’s most visited tourist attractions, and has enriched the heritage of the civil rights movement. The annual Trumpet Awards programme, which began on Thursday, January 10, culminated on Sunday, January 13, with the presentation of the awards at the Atlanta Civic Center. Inaugurated in 1993, the Trumpet Awards honours African American achievers in many different fields of endeavour, including law, business, medicine, politics, entertainment and public service.

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