Ossie Davis

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Ossie Davis


Ossie Davis was an actor and activist. He was married to Ruby Dee.

March on Washington

The March on Washington brought sharecroppers and college students, housewives and clergy, factory workers and school teachers from every part of the country. It attracted big-name celebrities, including actors Burt Lancaster, Paul Newman, Sidney Poitier, Marlon Brando, Ossie Davis, Dihann Carroll and Charlton Heston, singers Harry Belafonte, Bobby Darin, Josephine Baker, Lena Horne and Sammy Davis, Jr., athletes Jackie Robinson and Bill Russell and writer James Baldwin. Gospel singer Mahalia Jackson, opera star Marian Anderson and folk singers Joan Baez, Bob Dylan, Odetta, and Peter, Paul and Mary performed for the vast crowd.[1]

Herbert Aptheker Testimonial Dinner

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On April 28, 1966 Robert Cohen, Ossie Davis and Staughton Lynd were initiating sponsors for the Herbert Aptheker Testimonial Dinner. The dinner was held on the occasion of Herbert Aptheker's 50th birthday, the publication of his 20th book, and the 2nd anniversary of the American Institute for Marxist Studies. It was held in the Sutton Ballroom, The New York Hilton, Avenue of the Americas, 53rd to 54th Street, New York City. Most speakers, organizers and sponsors were known members or supporters of the Communist Party USA.[2]

American-Korean Friendship and Information Center

On Feb. 27, 1971, Ossie Davis, Noted Actor, Playwright, Director and Black Peoples Leader, New York, was listed as an initiating sponsor of the American-Korean Friendship and Information Center. The Center, a front for the Communist Party USA, was established to promote the withdrawal of US troops from South Korea and Vietnam.[3]

PUSH

Although money was a problem at first, initial backing came from Manhattan Borough President Percy Sutton, Gary, Indiana Mayor Richard Hatcher, Aretha Franklin, Jim Brown, and Ossie Davis.[4]

"A letter to Congress" on North Korea

In 1974, approximately 50 prominent, mainly Communist Party USA aligned leftists, signed a "Letter to Congress" on the situation regarding North Korea.

"For a quarter of a century the people of all Korea have needed such a peace agreement. The American People are ready for it. The People of the world deserve it. Peaceful coexistence must replace war and the threat of war. Negotiations must replace confrontation."
"Therefore, we the undersigned, concerned about the dangerous conditions in Korea earnestly appeal to you, and to all peace-minded Americans to join together in combining our reason and our political influence to secure the peaceful resolution of this problem."

The letter to Congress was in response to a March 25th, 1974 letter from the Supreme Peoples Assembly of the Democratic Peoples Republic of Korea to the United States Congress.

The signatories which included Ossie Davis Author, Davis, Author, urged Congress to act on North Korea's Concerns.[5]

Guardian

In March 1979, the New York radical magazine the Guardian issued an emergency appeal to funds in an effort to save the publication.

Over fifty supporters endorsed the appeal including Ossie Davis[6]

District 1199 Cultural Center

In 1982 Advisers to the District 1199 Cultural Center, Inc. New York were:[7]

We Will Make Peace Prevail!

On March 28, 1982 the New World Review organized a gala luncheon "We Will Make Peace Prevail! Disarmament Over Confrontation, Life Over Death", at the Grand Ballroom, Hotel Roosevelt, New York City. Virtually all participants were identified as Communist Party USA.

Ossie Davis was listed on the Committee of Sponsors.[8]

1987 Rainbow conference/Board

At the 1987 National Rainbow convention in Raleigh North Carolina, a new board was elected, which included Ossie Davis.

Peace for Cuba Appeal

In 1994 Ossie Davis was an initiator of the International Peace for Cuba Appeal, an affiliate of the Workers World Party dominated International Action Center.

Other prominent initiators included Cuban Intelligence agent Philip Agee, academic Noam Chomsky, Congressman John Conyers and Charles Rangel[9].

TranAfrica Nigeria letter

In an attempt to prod the military government of Nigeria toward a return to civilian rule, TransAfrica Forum's Randall Robinson enlisted the aid of politicians, educators and celebrities in order to focus the eyes of the world on human-rights abuses in Africa's most populous nation and return democracy to what many consider Africa's best hope. In a March 1995 letter to General Sani Abacha, who came to power in a 1993 military coup, Robinson accused Abacha of killing political opponents and shutting down the press. Robinson beseeched Abacha "to expedite the restoration of democracy" to Nigeria's 100 million people or face "incalculable damage" and "eventual economic and political isolation of your regime."

The letter was signed by a host of prominent Blacks: author Maya Angelou, actors Danny Glover, Ossie Davis and Ruby Dee; the Revs. Jesse Jackson and Joseph Lowery; musician and composer Quincy Jones; TV personality Bryant Gumbel; acting NAACP head Earl T. Shinhoster; International Human Rights Group director Gay McDougall; Harvard Law Professor and former Judge Leon Higginbotham, Jr.; National Urban League president Hugh Price; and a majority of Congressional Black Caucus members, including Chairman Donald Payne (D-NJ) and Alcee Hastings (D-FL), both House Subcommittee on Africa members.[10]

Communist "Manifestivity"

On October 30 and 31, 1998 the Brecht Forum presented the "Communist Manifestivity to celebrate the 150th Anniversary of the Communist Manifesto" at Cooper Union's Great Hall, New York.

Individual endorsers of the event included Ossie Davis.[11]

Committees of Correspondence for Democracy and Socialism

In 2002 was Ossie Davis and Ruby Dee were listed[12]on the Advisory Board of Committees of Correspondence for Democracy and Socialism.

Rosenberg Fund for Children

In 2003 Ossie Davis was on the Advisory Board of the Rosenberg Fund for Children[13].

References

  1. Truthout, 50 Years After the March on Washington, John Lewis Is Still Marching for Justice Tuesday, 20 August 2013 10:30By Peter Dreier, Truthout | News
  2. Dinner Program for the Herbert Aptheke Dinner, April 28, 1966
  3. Full-page advert in unknown newspaper, Feb. 27, 1971
  4. [Jackson PUSHes On". Time. Time Inc. January 3, 1972. Retrieved May 1, 2002]
  5. Letter to Congress undated 1974 Hugh DeLacy papers Accession Number 3915 Box Number 9 Folder Number 2
  6. Guardian March 2 1979
  7. District 1199 Cultural Center, Inc. letterhead 1982
  8. We Will Make Peace Prevail! event brochure
  9. International Peace for Cuba Appeal - letterhead, Nov. 14, 1994
  10. By Shabazz, Malik, Robinson Begins Push for Democracy in Nigeria: TransAfrica Initiative Seeks a Return to Civilian Government Black Issues in Higher Education , Vol. 12, No. 4 , April 2, 1995
  11. Mail Archive website: Communist Manifestivity Conference Schedule, Oct. 28, 1998
  12. CCDS membership letter Dec 20 2002
  13. Rosenberg Fund for Children Letterhead June 19 2003