LEE DANIELS RECEIVES THE WE SHALL OVERCOME FOUNDATION 'OSCAR MICHEAUX FREEDOM AWARD’ AT TRIBUTE TO "WE SHALL OVERCOME" AUTHOR, LOUISE SHROPSHIRE
Cincinnati, Ohio, -September 28, 2013. At an historic cultural gathering of influential religious, academic, civic leaders and activists, Lee Daniels, the Oscar-nominated director of "Precious" and the critically acclaimed film, "Lee Daniels' The Butler", was awarded the ‘We Shall Overcome Foundation 'Oscar Micheaux Freedom Award’ at the first annual, ‘We Shall Overcome-An Evening of Hope: The Life and Legacy of Louise Shropshire’. Mr. Daniels was presented the award by Civil Rights Hall of Fame Inductee, Rev. Dr. Otis Moss Jr., who himself was subject to violence of the African American Civil Rights movement, such as that, which was vividly depicted in "Lee Daniels' The Butler".
What started out by Rev. Moss as a deeply moving tribute to Mr. Daniels and his recent directorial work on ‘Lee Daniels The Butler’, evolved into a powerful "I Saw ‘the Butler’" sermon, during which Rev. Moss powerfully articulated his personal connection to the film's principal character, Cecil Gaines depicted by actor, Forrest Whitaker. Rev. Moss also remarked on the "astonishing" historical accuracy portrayed in Daniels’ film. During his acceptance speech, Lee Daniels wept tenderly and then, spoke humbly - not of himself, but of the "True Heroes" of the American Civil Rights Movement. He then pointed out and thanked Mrs. Betty Daniels Rosemond, who was herself a freedom rider. Earlier in the program, Mrs. Rosemond had presented the We Shall Overcome Foundation "Harriet Tubman Activism Award" to Simone Sheffield; Co=producer of "Precious" and "Lee Daniels' The Butler",
In one of the highlights of the evening, immediately following Lee Daniel’s acceptance speech, Civil Rights Hall of Fame Inductee, Rev, Dr. Damon Lynch Jr. took to the stage and asked all ministers in the audience to come forward. Approximately 35 men and women of faith, then made their way to the stage and, led by the President of the Underground Railroad Freedom Center, Rev. Dr. Clarence "C.W." Newsome, formed a circle around Daniels, laid hands on him and, along with the entire audience, blessed him and his work. It was truly an exceptional and historic night in Cincinnati, Ohio. - Like no other before it but hopefully, many to follow.
The 'We Shall Overcome~ An Evening of Hope: The Life and Legacy of Louise Shropshire' gala was an award ceremony and tribute to Louise Shropshire - the newly discovered "missing-link" author of the iconic freedom song, "We Shall Overcome".
The evening concluded with representatives from the city of Cincinnati, Cincinnati Public Schools, the University of Cincinnati and the Ohio State House of Representatives, all of which presented historic resolutions and declarations affirming Louise Shropshire's authorship of "We Shall Overcome"; the song the US Library of Congress has called; "The Most Powerful Song of the 20th Century".
Founded by Isaias Gamboa -the We Shall Overcome Foundation is a Christian based, not-for-profit organization, dedicated to the spiritual, social, educational, political and economic survival of the poor and marginalized throughout the world.