Actor, writer and activist Ruby Dee shared her personal experiences with civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. at the 2009 MLK Community Celebration held at WestConn on Jan. 14.
Also featured at the event celebrating King’s legacy was a staging of “The People of Clarendon County,” a short play by Ossie Davis, Dee’s late husband. An award-winning actor, director and producer, Davis was also a civil rights activist who worked closely with King. Recipients of the Lifetime Achievement Awards from the Screen Actors Guild, Davis and Dee were involved in organizing the 1963 civil rights March on Washington, and Davis spoke at King’s funeral.
“The People of Clarendon County” centers on African-American parents in 1950s South Carolina who fight for racial equality in the school system by legally challenging segregation. Davis wrote the play in celebration of the Supreme Court’s decision to outlaw school segregation in Brown v. Board of Education.