When the alarm went off at 5:30 a.m., my body had a really hard time shaking out of such a deep sleep. I was exhausted from all of the happenings last night! I checked the calendar and decided to go to some Civil Rights award event. I checked out the map. After kind of figuring things out Sunday and yesterday, it seemed do-able. I didn't have a ticket, but I hadn't yet made the connection with Pam to give up my press credentials so I thought I might have a chance.
Sure enough, as I walked up to the press table outside of the restaurant, a man quickly came over..."Are you press?" "Yes," I replied. "Right this way." And he quickly ushered me to the front of the restaurant and explained where the program would be taking place.
Learning my lesson from not getting coffee in my body yesterday, I tried to do gulp my Starbucks as fast as I could. I saw the crowd of people inching in (I've learned that's a sign of important people). I put down the Starbucks, grabbed the camera and started shooting. Al Sharpton was walking in. I was informed later that the lady he walked over to was Spike Lee's wife! But that was just the beginning!
A very pretty lady walked in and, for the life of me, I couldn't figure out who it was. (I don't remember names of movie stars very well). I finally admitted my ignorance to a lady...and felt even more ignorant after the admission...It was ANGELA BASSETT!!!!
The event began with...wouldn't you know...my hero again...John Lewis!...giving an opening talk. Then, Pras Michel from the Fugees introduced his documentary film, Skid Row, bringing attention to homelessness by his being homeless on skid row for 9 days.
But the best part for me was watching the Civil Rights awards. I have put so much time and effort into studying the Civil Rights movement that it makes me emotional every time I stand in the presence of these great leaders who have gotten us to this point of our history. Martin Luther King, Jr. introduced them. As these older women spoke, I was overcome with emotion (but I didn't cry...I was the "press" and had to do my job!). Dorothy Height, Doris Crenshaw, and Rev. Willie Barrow (with the Rainbow Coalition) spoke words of wisdom. I want to be like Rev. Barrow when I grow up. She has made it possible for kids to go to college because of her persistence with them and the institutions. She claims 65 god-children who contact her on a regular basis.
And before it was all over, Spike Lee walked in!
As I left the restaurant, I got caught in some motorcade where secret service blocked off the street. I can only speculate it must've been Bill or Hillary. (if they won't tell us...which none of the police would...then I can at least speculate on who I saw! :) ).
I made my way back to the Big Tent so I could eat and blog...and wouldn't you know, I found my moment with Dan Rather!
We moved real quick to the Blogger BBQ...with me in hopes of getting a picture of Howard Dean. Before we could get to Howard, I saw Ann Curry and Anderson Cooper. Unfortunately, I could only get close up shots...but none with me in them. Oh well. I've still got tomorrow.
You know how those restaurants have their walls full of the people who have come to eat there? I think I may have to do that and have my own wall of fame at my house!