Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Ruby Dee is Keynote Speaker for MLK Ceremony

It's Inauguration Day for those of us here in the U.S. On the eve of this historic day, legendary actress Ruby Dee, who starred with Russell and Denzel Washington in American Gangster, was the keynote speaker for the Martin Luther King, Jr. ceremony on the campus of Winston-Salem State University.

The imminent inauguration of the nation's first black president represents a time for the American people to take stock, said an award-winning actress and political activist. "Apathy can no longer be part of our vocabulary," Dee said.

Dee spoke about her years working with Martin Luther King Jr., her experiences as part of Harlem's artistic community and her hopes for the country's future.

In the early years of her career, she and other black people in the arts had a simple goal, she said.

They wanted to offer something other than the available stereotypes of black people as backward.

The arts, she said, became part of the civil-rights struggle.

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