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R.I.P. James Garner: Actor, Director, Cherokee, Civil Rights Activist


James Garner as Bret Maverick

James Garner as Bret Maverick

James Garner, Oscar-nominated movie and Emmy Award-winning TV actor, recently died at age 86. Most people knew Garner as the handsome and suave detective with the cool car “Jim Rockford” on the long-running TV series The Rockford Files, and even earlier, as the iconic “Brett Maverick” on the ground-breaking series “Maverick”. Garner acted in many roles in both movies and on TV well into the 2000s/ Garner was also a director and producer; he set up his very successful production company, Cherokee Productions, in 1965.

Yes, Cherokee Productions was so named because James Garner was a very proud member of the  Cherokee Nation, as his maternal grandfather was a full-blooded Cherokee.

Flag of the Cherokee Nation

Flag of the Cherokee Nation (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


James Garner also participated in the civil rights movement of the 1960s, often seen lending his celebrity status to help the cause, and marching alongside other celebrities such as actress Diahann Carroll.

James Garner and Diahann Carroll at Civil Rights March

James Garner and Diahann Carroll at Civil Rights March

Mr. James Garner, actor, director, activist, is survived by his daughter Gigi Garner, who is head of Cherokee Productions.

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Today in Black HIstory: July 21








Updated Post

The National Association of Colored Women, whose first president was Dr. Mary Church Terrell, was founded in Washington D.C. in 1896.

Mary Church Terrell

Mary Church Terrell (Photo credit: Wikipedia)













One of the most successful musicals of the mid-20th century, Stormy Weather, opened in 1943 in New York City. The movie starred Lena Horne, Cab Calloway, Katherine Dunham, Fats Waller, Bill “Bojangles” Robinson, and the Nicholas Brothers performing the most famous and spectacular tap dance routine ever filmed.

The Nicholas Brothers in Stormy Weather

The Nicholas Brothers in Stormy Weather (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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We Have Lost An Environmental Justice Icon: Charity Hicks

It is with great sadness that we acknowledge the death of environmental activist and Detroiter Charity Hicks. We honor her memory, Ashae.

Detroiters Working for Environmental Justice
(313) 833-3935
     4750 Woodward Ave.
Detroit, Michigan 48201

Charity Hicks

In Remembrance of Charity Hicks

I first met Charity by phone several years ago. She had been referred to me as the “go to” person at Wayne County to help me track down their health and environmental data. She was so impressive that day. Knowledgeable, energized, enthused to be helpful. She made one of those unforgettable first impressions we all hear about. Several years later we met face-to-face and recounted to each other that long-passed phone call. We shared smiles and laughter about what a small world we live in, etc.


Today, I join countless others who are mourning the sad and sudden end to her time with us. She leaves a hole in the community that can never be wholly filled. I will miss our “odd couple” embraces of friendship at every encounter and our spirited debates about the ills of society and the best ways to move forward. I will miss her passionate and unwavering integrity on the issues that were most dear to her heart. I will miss the example and inspiration of her courage and articulate expressions of truth to power. And maybe most of all, I will simply miss her.


For those of you who may not be aware, Charity was hit by a vehicle while on travel to a conference in New York City. She remained hospitalized and in a coma for several weeks before passing on. Her viewing is today and her funeral is tomorrow…details below.


In Peace and Respect,


Guy O. Williams

President & CEO


I ask everyone who can to please make a contribution to the fund that has been established to help her family in this time of need. Please follow this link: Gofundme.com/wagelove.


Arrangements for Charity Hicks


Friday, July 18, 2014
3:00-8:00 pm
Swanson Funeral Home
806 E. Grand Blvd. (at Mack)
Detroit, MI 48207
Phone Number 313-923-1122
Fax: 313-923-0763

Home Going Service Celebrating the Life of Charity Hicks

Saturday, July 19, 2014
9:30 am
Church of the Messiah
231 E. Grand Blvd. (at E. Lafayette)
Detroit, MI 48207

Thank you. Your generous donation helps DWEJ champion local and national collaboration to advance environmental justice and redevelopment.
Click to Donate
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