Samuel L. Jackson, Al Sharpton, Sean Penn to Be Honored at ‘Drum Major for Justice’ Event

Samuel L. Jackson, Al Sharpton, Sean Penn to Be Honored at 'Drum Major for Justice' Event


It seems appropriate that prolific actor Samuel L. Jackson will be honored at the 33rd annual “Drum Major for Justice Awards Dinner” in Atlanta to commemorate the 44th anniversary of the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr.

Hosted by the SCLC Women, the soiree will also honor the Rev. Al Sharpton, two-time Academy Award winner Sean Penn and Jackson’s wife, LaTanyaRichardsonn.

Jackson, some may not know, has direct connections to the King family. After MLK was felled by an assassin bullet at the Lorraine Motel in Memphis, Tenn., Jackson served as one of the ushers at the televised funeral in Atlanta. He also journeyed to Memphis the next day to help continue the marches that King had come to the Southern city to take up. The following year as a Morehouse student — also King’s alma mater — Jackson and other students held hostage a number of school officials in their demands for a more Afrocentric curriculum. One of the men who was held hostage: Martin Luther King Sr.


Jackson and the student protesters eventually got their demands satisfied, but at a severe cost to Jackson: he was charged and convicted with unlawful confinement, a felony. He was suspended from Morehouse for two years, but eventually returned to receive his bachelor of arts in drama in 1972. After Jackson returned to the ATL from Los Angeles, he met legendary Black Power Movement leaders Stokely Carmichael and H. Rap Brown and even began buying guns. However, his mother reportedly sent him back to LA when the FBI warned her that Jackson would be killed within a year if he remained with the movement.

Samuel L. Jackson, Al Sharpton, Sean Penn to Be Honored at 'Drum Major for Justice' EventSharpton’s well-chronicled civil rights career spans four decades and began when he formed the National Youth Movement in 1971. With the National Action Network, Sharpton is considered one of the premiere advocates and active human rights leaders. Penn is nearly as well known for his devotion to political and social causes. Most recently, the ex-husband of Madonna spent a great deal of time working on the Haitian earthquake relief.


LaTanya Richardson is a veteran actress and currently produces the ESPY Awards for ESPN. She is a Spelman theater graduate where she met and eventually married husband Samuel L. Jackson. They have one daughter, Zoe.

terry shropshire

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