|Martin Luther King Jr. Day is a time of giving others your attention, your creativity, your knowledge, your aide. And that's what I set out to offer today.|
Hunter is a Selma, Alabama native. He was a seventeen-year-old foot soldier in all three Selma marches including the horrific "Bloody Sunday" before and after Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. arrived. In a rather candid speech, he instructed us all to go forth from this day of service, to move through strife that can be as terribly frightening as the Edmund Pettus Bridge, to push others along, to find the greatest potential in ourselves and share those findings with the world around.
The most seemingly impossible thing can possibly gift the most profound fruit ever given.
|Back in 1965, Phillip Hunter was a seventeen-year-old foot soldier-- a former paperboy and shoe shine boy-- inspired by his blacklisted news editor father, Phillip desired to take a stand for civil rights, campaigning alongside many organizations such as Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC), Congress of Racial Equality (CORE), and other groups. Listen to some of his speech here. I apologize in advance for the sounds of talking children and random people who kept getting up in my camera view.|
|Once denied and deemed an unlawful certificate, Phillip received a Freedom Diploma signed by Martin Luther King Jr., proudly displaying it to us. After his speech, I am honored to have thanked him and shook a brave man's hand.|
|Phillip was honored along with other original foot soldiers with a Congressional Gold Medal, the highest honor to be bestowed upon a civilian. If one looks closely, the late Amelia Boynton Robinson is on the far left.|