PRESS RELEASE: Current and Former Councilmembers, Former County Execs to Step Forward to Support Ike Leggett. Click here to find out more!
 


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"Anything Goes" Theatre Party and Fundraiser
    Musical: Anything Goes
    Date: Sunday, April 23, 2006
    Curtain: 2pm
    Reception to Follow
    RSVP by April 18, 2006
    Place: Olney Theatre Center
    Click above link for details,
       or contact
Nita Armstrong at:
       301-977-4216 or
       [email protected]
    Click here to download the
       invitation as a PDF file.
 
Meet and Greet that was Held at Ron and Kim Little's Home
    Photo Album
    Date: Mar. 18, 2006
African-American Dems pay homage to black officials
    Montgomery County Gazette
    Published: Mar. 1, 2006
Letter to the Honorable Montgomery County Delegation
    Letter
    Date: Feb. 23, 2006
Leggett Goes After Waste
    Washington Post
    Published: Feb. 16, 2006
Letter to County Council President George Leventhal
    Letter
    Date: Feb. 14, 2006
Save Our Sligo
    Photo Album
    Date: Feb. 7, 2006
Ike Around the County
    Photo Album
    Various Dates and Locations
Volunteers at the Olney
Theater

    Photo Album
    Date: Jan. 30, 2006
Martin Luther King Commemorative Event
    Washington Jewish Week
    Published: Jan. 26, 2006
Coffee Hosted by Carmen and Joe Camacho
    Photo Album
    Date: Jan. 24, 2006
Debate at Leisure World
    Photo Album
    Date: Jan. 12, 2006
District 20 Breakfast Club
    Photo Album
    Date: Dec 18, 2005
Montgomery College in Takoma Park
    Photo Album
    Date: Dec 10, 2005
Habitat for Humanity Groundbreaking
    Photo Album
    Date: Nov. 6, 2005
County Executive Candidate Supports ‘Balanced Growth’
    Montgomery County Gazette
    Published: Nov. 16, 2005
Current & Former Councilmembers, Former County Execs to Step Forward to Support Leggett
   
Press Release
    Released: Nov. 8, 2005
Anticipating Emergencies
     Article: See 'Press Releases'
    
Published here: Sept 22, 2005

 

African America-Jewish Forum held on January 11, 2006
Remembering the Past, Building a Future

Excerpts from Ike Leggett’s opening comments

About ten years ago, I was engaged in a series of conversations with a variety of student groups and others regarding African American and Jewish Relations and the historic contributions they individually and collectively had made in this country’s civil rights struggle. The basis for the discussion was to highlight how cooperatively the two groups had worked together in the past.

While discussing our joint history and contributions, I was suddenly struck by the students’ lack of awareness and misunderstanding about our common history. These students, and sadly, many others had little appreciation of the contributions each had made (African American or Jewish), and frankly, they did not appear to be terribly interested.

For me and my generation, and for some that immediately followed us, we simply took it for granted that everyone should get involved in the civil rights struggle. It was significantly important to all in our society at the time; it permeated every part of our lives: from basic education, public accommodation, employment to every fabric of our society.

I personally became involved in the civil rights struggle very early in my life for a variety of reasons. I grew up as one of thirteen children in a poverty stricken environment under the harshest of conditions of segregated Louisiana. Until I actually entered college, except for what I saw on the all too few television sets in our community,- we were so poor and so segregated, that I had personally never seen a black doctor, a policeman, a lawyer, a bank teller, a mailman, or any professional other than a teacher or a preacher.

Giving these conditions, I was determined that I wanted to and could make a difference. And I got that opportunity later as a student leader serving as the Student Government President at Southern University in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. At that time, Southern University was the largest Black institution by enrollment in the country. I was excited and proud to lead our sit-ins, protest marches and many of the rallies occurring around the campus, the state of Louisiana and throughout the south.

I even had the opportunity on two occasions to meet Dr. King--once in Alexandria, Louisiana and in Blue Ridge, North Carolina. His messages were truly inspirational and uplifted those who attended to fight the good fight that he so eloquently articulated.

Throughout all of these good fights and the struggles we faced, our Jewish sisters and brothers were right there by our sides: they participated in the sit-ins, they marched in the protest rallies, they joined the boycotts, they gave generously of their talents, resources and time – and sadly, far too many Jewish citizens, they gave the ultimate sacrifice--they gave their lives. They did so, not just for their own fight against discrimination and bigotry, but for all of us, and for all of America. ----And sadly, this was not the message far too many of our young people were hearing.

I do not want to mislead anyone here tonight that cooperation between African Americans and Jews was always harmonious during the height of the 60’s civil rights struggle. Towards the latter part of the 60s, lead primarily by young student leaders for which I was a part, we began to struggle with Black self-awareness, with our own identity and our leadership roles in the civil rights movement. Far too many of us had been beaten, thrown in jail, kick out of school, and frankly, we had had it with the passive nonviolence and slow pace of change we were experiencing at that time. Some even turned their backs on Dr. King. The answer, we believed, was a call for separation and to direct the movement towards black pride, black identity and black awareness, and even “Black Power”. This, for us, seemed natural; it gave us our own voice,-it elevated black leadership almost exclusively to the forefront of the civil rights movement.

With this new direction and the struggle within the Black community, we isolated many of our most important allies and partners in the Jewish community. This isolation was then aided by those seeking to further divide Backs and Jews, and, it was also aided by our genuine differences on such matters as: affirmative action, economic empowerment, international relations and differences about the state of Israel and its neighbors.

Many of these issues and the open wombs they caused have yet to fully heal, and much, much more work needs to be done. But I am hopeful about the future. I am hopeful because I am reminded about the message Dr. King delivered to those of us assembled in Alexandria, Louisiana in the Rapides Parish Coliseum.

Dr. King’s message was taken from the old testament, from the book of Nehemiah. It was really about leadership and cooperation with people who were divided and had lost hope. Dr. King explained that Nehemiah was a man of God highly gifted in his leadership abilities. Nehemiah was called on to help lead his people in the almost impossible task in rebuilding the Walls around Jerusalem in order to protect the city from its enemies. Nehemiah was able to accomplish this difficult feat in record time. He did so by assigning each family in the city a specific section of the wall to rebuild and to be responsible for its completion. Nehemiah was personally engaged in the reconstruction and supervised much of the details of this difficult work. Each family and each individual worked separately yet together toward the ultimate goal to ensure the reconstruction of the wall and the protection of the city. They did not take their eyes off this important prize.

We do not have Nehemiah today. And sadly, we no longer have Dr. King. But African-Americans and Jews do have a common history of great accomplishments: working together for the common good of this great nation. And, if we utilize the tremendous talents, leadership and resources African Americans and Jews have together, and most importantly, keep our eyes on the prize for equality and justice for all, we too will realize Dr. King’s dream for this country.




 

  Authorized by Friends of Ike Leggett: Lawrence N. Rosenblum, Treasurer
  Copyright © 2005