tv Book Discussion on I Am Troy Davis CSPAN December 14, 2013 1:15pm-2:31pm EST
particularly the price hikes of 2007-2008, the food price hikes of 2007-2008 have specialized and made a deliberate effort to place themselves as one of the pioneers of addressing food security issues. and so not only to allay their own food security, but to also see what are some of the ways in which global food security issues can be addressed. and so what the qataris are trying to do out of necessity as well as in order to enhance their own brand and also because structurally they're a small state and small states tend to specialize in some of these niche areas, as a result, qatar has been extremely active and on the forefront of issues like women's empowerment, food security, science and technology, and now they're building what is a mammoth
research hospital in order to address some of the major diseases that are endemic to the region. with tremendous wealth comes also some, some diseases such as, for example, adult diabetes, childhood obesity and some of those other things that qatar is now trying to position itself as a global leader in addressing. i hate to end tonight's discussion with a mention of diseases, but it's been -- [laughter] it's been a pleasure and an honor being here. thank you all, and my thanks again to osama. thank you. [applause] >> before you adjourn, if you don't mind, i would like to say that we have professor kamrava
for two more days here. first he'll be appearing at the carnegie endowment tomorrow at 1 p.m. to give a talk and then back here at the ccas for a conference on religious and secular trends in africa, and he will also be giving a paper on qatar's involvement with some of the religious developments in the region. so, please, join us again tomorrow and the day after. but for now, please join us outside for some snacks, and feel free to continue the conversation with professor kamrava. thank you again very much. thank everyone for being here. [applause] >> we'd like to hear from you. tweet us your feedback, twitter.com/booktv. >> troy davis was convicted of killing a police officer in 1989. he maintained his innocence until his execution in twch. next -- 2011. next on booktv, jen marlowe, two of troy davis' sisters and
other participants talk about troy davis' trial and the global efforts to keep him from being put to death. his supporters included former president jimmy carter, pope benedict vxi and desmond tutu. this is about an hour, ten minutes. [applause] >> our next speaker is a woman that i've come to know through my, through amnesty international usa. she's a woman who if you do know her, you know that this particular case, troy davis' case, was not just work for her. wendy was the type of woman who never left the office when it came to working on this case. she was the type of woman that made this case part of who she was. and the people involved her family. i want to introduce you to wendy gozan b brown. [applause]
>> as i was mulling what to say, one of the most quoted phrases from the -- [inaudible] rang loud and clear. pardon my voice, i'm a little bit sick. one phrase rang loud and clear. he who has saved a life has saved the world. i cannot think of a family that has done more to save the world than the davis family. [applause] for some 20 years, they fought relentlessly to prevent troy's execution, and for 20 years they succeeded. but they did far more than that. they called unheard of attention to the cruel and arbitrary nature of the death penalty. troy and his family demonstrated just how easily someone can get
wrapped up in a system that is racist and unjust. their commitment and considerable sacrifice will undoubtedly mean fewer death sentences, sparing men none too different than troy. he who has saved a life has saved the world. it is impossible to talk about troy without mentioning his older sister, martina. devoted to the her brother, she was the face of the campaign to save him, and as many people here know today, she was a force of nature. martina was my partner in crime, sneaking troy on a call with reporters that resulted in his first stay of execution. after that, she became one of my closest friends, and she became a mentor, showing me the true meaning of family. the davis' faith in god and their loyalty to each other is unsurpassed. they have endured more than any people i've ever met and yet throughout their monumental struggle, i watched them put
their own burdens aside to bring into the fold their friends and fellow activists, making many of us honorary members of the family along the way. their selflessness has had an indelible impact on me. in some small sense, it could be said that the davis family saved me and countless other abolitionists, human rights advocates and close friends who learned critical life lessons from them. now, in turn, it is our collective tooth to make sure troy's death was -- duty to make sure troy's death was not in vain. we must continue this fight to abolish the death penalty state by state and execution by execution. nobody is better placed than them to say why this is so critical, so i am humbled, proud and honored to introduce troy's middle sister, kimberly davis, and his youngest sister, ebony, and her daughter, kirsten, whom you'll hear from later this evening. please join me in welcoming kim.
[applause] [inaudible conversations] >> good evening. i want to thank y'all for coming out on this great event, because as you know on tomorrow will mark the two-year anniversary of my brother's execution. it has been a long battle, a long struggle, but you all have stood by us. i want to thank larry cox with
amnesty international -- [applause] laura murray with amnesty international, shi rell brown, equal justice usa, the naacp -- [applause] ms. jen marlowe -- [cheers and applause] we also have kim manning hooper with amnesty u.k. kim, can you please stand? [applause] as wendy mentioned, when we first started out, it was the davis family, it was my sister, martina, who was persistent in getting my brother's story out. through that struggle, like she said, you know, we -- they have come to be extended family. we have larry, my nephew calls larry uncle larry. kim, she's the duchess, she's
auntie kim. wendy is auntie wendy, auntie laura, and jen is our baby sister. [laughter] but, you know, god has actually kept us together. we have so many supporters, so many very dear friends of troy's that are here. i don't want to, you know, miss any names, but we have gloria canello, rosanne harvey. i just want to thank all of y'all that are here. we are here tonight on one occasion, and that's to celebrate the life and the legacy of troy. some of troy's last words were to his friends and supporters to continue to fight to end the death penalty, and that's what we're going to do. my sister martina was the voice of troy, and she always told people that she was her brother's keeper, and she was that, her brother's keeper. when troy was executed, the day that he was executed, he gave each and every family member and each and every person that came
and visited him on death row that day, he gave all of us a charge. he told us, he said don't cry, don't hold your head down. you don't have anything to be ashamed of. he said he wanted to thank us for standing by him, thank us for holding up his name, thank us for fighting for justice. and he wanted us to continue that fight. he said whatever we do, it it ws not going to end with him. he said it didn't begin with him, and it was not going to end with him. there were many more troy davis' before him and after him. someone, i was talking with someone just on last night, and we were actually talking about, you know, troy's life in the prison. for 17 and a half years, they had one warden that when troy went before the parole board, this warden actually wrote letters to the parole board asking the parole board not to execute troy. we have a very flawed justice system.
we saw that firsthand in the city of savannah, the state of georgia. after the 17 and a half years, the new warden that came to the prison, warden humphries, i don't think any of y'all know what i'm getting ready to say. warden hum frees on the first day he came to the prison, he told troy that your celebrity days are over. i'm going to make your last days on earth a living hell. troy couldn't understand why the new warden that came into the prison had this to say to him. troy said he continued to give him respect. that warden, they had recreation where they, you know, arts and crafts where they would, you know, croce different things. troy used to croce hearts. he did doll babies, pocketbooks and all kinds of stuff. the warden, he took it away. after he took that away, he went
to take away the contact visits for the inmates. they had contact visits for as long as troy -- well, before troy was even at that prison for 17 and a half years. he took away the contact visits. and then with the death row inmates, they were able to get snacks out of the vending machines, you know, from their family members and friends to heat up during the visitation. the warden stopped with the snacks for the inmates. then he actually put them on a 23-hour lockdown. they had one hour to come out to either -- you had a decision, to take a shower, go out in the rec yard or make one 15-minute phone call to your family members. true it all -- through it all, troy continued to keep his faith in god, continued to pray, and our family still continued to go and visit him every other weekend for 17 and a half years. we went to georgia's death row which was four hours from savannah, georgia. we went every saturday for 17 and a half years.
and then troy told us, he said that, you know, he wanted us to go on with our lives. but we told him that was our life, he was our life. and if he was in prison serving on death row, we were all in prison serving on death row. then we started going every other weekend. but, you know, when the warden put them on the 23-hour lockdown and the day that my brother was executed, warden humphreys actually came to mr. benjamin jealous and was bragging. he asked do you know who i am? and ben said, yeah, you're the warden of the prison. and he said, no, do you really know who i am? and he asked, who are you, and he said with a smirk on his face that he was actually a police officer on the streets of savannah in 1989 when the officer had gotten killed. before troy had gotten his last execution date, the warden actually came to troy two weeks before he had gotten his execution date and told him that
he had had another execution date scheduled. troy called us in a frantic panic. my sister called his attorneys. the attorneyings said that they didn't have an execution date scheduled, the warden was just trying to get a rise out of you. we were grateful that the supreme court actually gave us an evidentiary hearing. the evidentiary hearing was actually brought back to the 11th circuit which was the same courts that actually convicted troy. we could not have a fair trial in the 11th circuit. many, it was many of you that were there during the hearing with the 11th circuit, and you had judge william moore who was actually supposed to be a judge for justice. understand that when we had the
witnesses that recaptained their statement -- recanted their statement, their testimonies coming to testify to tell truth, we had the judge, william moore, sitting on the stand asleep. like the case didn't matter to him. it was with the city of savannah even one of the lead detectives, he said that he can remember the '70s, he can remember the '90s, but he really couldn't remember anything about the '80s, but he was one of the lead detectives. you had the district attorney, under his reign you had three other gentlemen that he actually sentenced to death that their death sentences were overturned because of prosecutor y'all misconduct in their cases. the system in the state of georgia was a very flawed system. when we know that something is wrong, we need to stand up for what's right and make our voices heard. [applause]
we know that the death penalty is wrong. it's okay for us to come is and sit here in the church to honor my brother, but to honor him would be to get out and make your voices heard. join one of these organizations. get out and speak against the death penalty. our elected officials, they are just that, elected officials. we put them in their jobs. if they're not doing a job that we want them to do, if they're not doing what's right, then we need to get their behinds out there and get somebody in that can do what's right. [applause] we're going to stand together and end this death penalty. troy's last words were for us to continue to fight to end the death penalty, and that's what we're going to do. you know, they wanted to see us enraged, they wanted to see us in violence. no. you can make a difference by your voice. let your voices be heard. stand up and let your voices be heard because i am troy davis. thank you. [applause]
point in what's been really an incredible journey that i've been on and that air been on -- that i've been on with the davis family and with so many of you. there's a lot of people to thank, i'm going to just try to mention a few that haven't already been mentioned. you know, i talk about this in a moment, the idea of the book really came from troy and from martina, but if it wasn't for ruth baldwin, is ruth here? yes. if it wasn't for ruth baldwin, we probably wouldn't be sitting here at least with the book tonight. [applause] so, ruth, thank you. [applause] ruth not only worked, you know, worked as the editor on the book, but she believed in the book so much that she knew it had to find the right home. and be she knew that that right home would be with hay market books. and jason and anthony from hay market books are sitting here, and there could not be a better partner anywhere to bring this story to the world. so thank you so much. [applause]
doreen shapiro is sitting here. doreen with, actually, all three of my books totally pro bono has read draft after draft helping me correct grammatical errors i'm ashamed to admit i made and many other things, but so appreciative. [applause] and so many, you know, so many friends and supporters and people that i've gotten to know and call family over the course of these last five years since i first met the davis family. and i first met them because i saw martina speak on democracy now. and when i saw -- i had never heard of troy's case before, and this was the day after troy had survived his first execution date. he survived that one by about 23 hours. and i heard martina speaking on democracy now, and i think wendy said it best, i was like this woman is a force of nature. and i wanted to learn more about the brother she was so determined to save and whose innocence she believed in so
strongly. and i started doing some research on the internet, and i came across the amnesty international report called where is the justice for me which laid all the specifics of troy's case, the recantations, the botched investigation, the lack of any kind of meaningful physical evidence linking troy to the murder of the police officer who was killed. and i realized what a travesty of justice it was. so i wrote a letter to troy, just a note of solidarity. he wrote back. we began corresponding. i think that's true for so many of us sitting here who were troy's friends. it started with, you know, jotting a card and not realizing that troy was determined to write back to every person who reached out to him, and that's how he created that web of hundreds and hundreds of close friendships. and in one of those letters when troy found out i was a documentary film maker, he said, oh, you should make a film about martina. that's a story of love and tribulation and determination that would inspire everyone, and i remembered seeing martina and knew that he was right, that martina's story and that story of her double struggle for her
own life and her brother's life was the most powerful window into the larger story of the human impact of the death penalty. and the injustice of the death penalty and what it does to innocent families all over the country. and when i finally met martina, which was about a year later,. >> she she mentioned offhand pee keep telling me i should really write a book, but i don't have time to write a book. as wendy said, she was out there saving the world. hard to find the time. she said i need someone to work with me on it and pretty much right away i said would you like me to be that person, because i would be honored. and that's how we began working on it. the basis of the book is extensive years' worth of interviews with martina, with family members, with kimberly, with martina's son, with their mother, virginia davis, who passed away a few months before troy was executed and troy hymn. my first -- himself. we devised a way for him to participate in the book through letters that we wrote each other, he would contribute
stories and anecdotes, phone conversations. but i would say the bulk of the book, most of it happened after troy's execution. most of the work with martina, because martina called me a week after troy's funeral when she had gotten a letter from troy. it was postmarked the day of his execution in which he told her to make sure she finished writing her book. and she called me with that letter still in her lap, and she said this is now my highest priority. we dove right in to what was to be the last two months of martina's life. and i remember saying, you know, because we were talking about the most painful things, you know, the whole -- you know, starting with when the u.s. supreme court denied troy's final appeal which is what paved the way for the execution, martina and troy and ebony and lester's mother virginia passing two weeks after that of a broken heart, not being able to endure a fourth execution date, the whole summer waiting for that execution date to be set and, of course, the ultimate ending.
and i said to martina, we don't have to dive into, you know, that deep of the pain yet. we can wait, and martina with her usual grit and determination said, no, let's do it now while the memories are still fresh. and had she not had that courage, again, we would not be sitting here together right now to launch her book and troy's book and the davis family's story. i'd like the to have just a moment where we celebrate and appreciate martina. [applause] and virginia. and martina and troy and kimberly and ebony, and lester's mom, virginia davis, who was a civil rights activist herself and raised five children to be fighters for justice, warriors for justice. for virginia davis. [applause]
we have several passages from the book that we want to share for you tonight, but rather than me reading them, i want to invite -- we have a panel of readers that we would like to ask to come up. and if you could stand just on the front row there, um, in order, please, from one to five, there's five short passages. we're going to introduce the readers as a group so you know who's reading and why they were selected to read. and then before each reading i'll just very briefly tell you the context of what part of the book that comes from.
>> hello. is it on? [inaudible conversations] >> you hear? >> so i'm going to introduce two of your readers. the first is a man that i have come to know since 2009 working on troy davis' case right here in new york. this is a man who many of you may know. his name, again, is yousef salam, he's from the central park five case. [applause] yousef salam, when he was 15 years old, was convicted of a crime that he didn't commit. and a very, very well known man, went on television and said we need to bring back the death penalty in the state of new york so we can execute yousef and the other four people that were part of the central park five. one of them is here today, and he was 14 years old at the time. the next speaker i'm going to introduce is lawrence hayes.
this is a man who knows all too well what it means to be in the death house. he sat on death row for two and a half years. but more than that, lawrence hayes is a warrior, he is a leader for justice. he campaigned for years, since i can't remember when, on behalf of troy anthony davis, but countless other men and women who fit on death row. so i want to introduce you. [applause] >> standing in between, sandwiched in between is laura. i actually met her at this church in 2009. i came with martina, it was actually when we first started working on the book was right at that period. and, you know, laura, her position in amnesty with death penalty abolition campaign director, and as such she spearheaded the campaign for
troy. but that's just a position, that's just a title. that says nothing about how laura, you know, in partnership with so many others, but so much of this was laura, the brains, the heart, the soul, the spirit of this righteous struggle and this righteous cause. so, laura. [applause] and on the other side next to lawrence is eve especialliler. and a lot of you probably know of her as a tony award winning playwright, as the founder of the global movement against violence. i've been talking to eve for years about martina. i wanted them to meet. i felt a connection between them. there was a lot of reasons for this connection. i think one of them was because in 2010 eve was diagnosed with an advanced stage uterine cancer. and eve is clean now and fine now, but the way eve approached
her battle with cancer, her struggle, the courage, the love, the determination to live not just for herself, but toly to be able to continue to fight for a better world for all people, that was so much the heart and soul of martina. that's what i saw correcting them -- connecting them, and it's such a pleasure to bring eve here today. [applause] and next to eve we have troy davis' younger sister, ebony davis, the youngest of the five davis siblings. and i just want to read what ebony wrote on facebook last year on troy's birthday, because i think it says more than i could say in better words than i could say them. she wrote on facebook on troy's birthday: happy birthday to the greatest brother. the world is still talking about you. that means job well done. i'm proud of being your baby sister. [applause]
yousef is going to do the first reading, and it's from a passage in the book which was, um, which was 2007. there had been an execution date set. it was july 16th. the parole board hearing had just met. the execution was set for the next day, july 17th, at 7 p.m. >> july 16th, 2007. just then mama's cell phone rang. virginia punched through the numbers as quickly as she could so that she could hear troy's voice. hi, mama. how'd the hearing go? virginia put her cell phone on speaker so troy could hear martina, who was still dancing and shouting. you hear that, honey? the family huddled around
virginia's cell phone to hear troy's reaction. for a moment, there was silence. then almost inaudibly, thank you, god, followed by another, thank you, god. this time a little longer. troy did something he regularly, he did regularly. of he prayed. then he did something he almost never did. troy began to cry. two guards led troy from the death row house back to his cell block. fellow death row inmates lined up at the doors of their cells extending their arms through the iron bars to grasp troy's hand as he walked down the row. praise god, brother, one man called out to him, tears in his eyes. maybe at least one of us will survive this place.
another cheered. troy's friends shoved small items through the bars for him to take back, items that troy had bequeathed to them the day -- the previous day. bottle of shampoo, some extra stamps, a few be envelopes, his belt and his shoes. troy, head high and a new spring in his step, walked into his cell. he heard the familiar clink of the door lock behind him. but at that moment he was not focused on his confinement, he was focused on his life. georgia had intended to take it from him in less than 24 hours. he and hid family -- he and his family and scores of supporters had fought, and they had prevailed. [applause]
>> laura's going to read a section about martina and her son. and like every parent, any parent struggles, i think, to know how to explain some of the harsher realities of the world to their children in ways that are honest, in ways that are, you know, respecting their need to know, but also trying to protect them from information that they might be too young to handle. every parent, i think, has that dilemma. you can imagine how much more complicated that creme ma is when the hard. reality that you're trying to figure out how to explain to your child that his beloved uncle is not only in prison, but at the state of georgia -- but that the state of georgia is intending to kill him. and martina struggled for years on what to tell him, how much, when, and eventually she told him more and more about that troy was in prison, why he was in prison, but she didn't think, you know, he was still a little boy. she didn't think he was ready to
know yet about what it meant that troy was on death row, so she hadn't quite gotten around to deciding the time was right to tell him that point yet. >> delaware john's dog egypt did not run to the gate to greet martina as usual, nor did she respond when martina called her. where was that dog? martina finally spotted egypt's legs sticking out behind the hedges and ran to her side. egypt, covered in blood and dirt, turned her head to look at march teak that -- martina, her warm, brown eyes pleading for help. oh, sweetheart, what on earth has happened to you? egypt, struggling to her feet when she heard martina's voice, limped a few steps, dragging one leg behind her and laid down again. it looked like egypt had been hit by a car. the vet told martina and her son after examining x-rays her leg
was broken in three places. she needs surgery, the vet said. she'll need pins in her legs, and she'll need physical therapy. i think we're talking about something upwards of $10,000, otherwise you'll have to put her to sleep. martina nearly choked. where was she going to get $10,000? i can keep her comfortable for the night. why don't you get back to me in the morning, the vet said. martina and her son got in the car to drive home. how could she possibly come up with $10,000? who had that kind of money lying around? she turned into her subdivision, mind still reeling, trying not to let her son see how upset she was. her son, who had been silent the entire ride, finally spoke. mom, are you going to put by dog to sleep like they're trying to put uncle troy to sleep? martina turned sharply to look
at her son and found him staring at her steadily. his eyes filled with tears. she battled to hold back her own. all that agonizing about how and when to tell him, and he already knew. not only was he aware that the state was trying to kill his uncle, but he also understood about lethal injection. that the method georgia planned to use to kill his uncle was the same method used to put down a dog. i promise you, egypt is going to be just fine. martina would pawn her car if she had to or take a second mortgage on her home, but she could not put egypt to sleep. she was not going to further traumatize her child. the next morning martina found a vet able to treat egypt for a much more reasonable sum and bring her home.
soft fuzz grew over egypt's long scar soon replaced by thicker fur, eventually the scar could scarcely be seen. martina was more worried about the invisible scars that her child might be carrying. [applause] >> lawrence is going to read a passage from when troy was newly on death row. troy was arrested in 1989, his conviction and death sentence was in 1991. this passage takes place in 1993. so it was one of the first executions on death row that troy had been forced to endure, and this time it was a friend. >> troy had never intended to make friends on death row, but there was something dishonest about chris. chris was tall, trim, strong,
tough demeanor. but he showed warmth, affection to his friends. he sketched beautifully, often sending them to his mother to whom he was devoted. he was older than troy by more than ten years, but there was something vulnerable and child-like about him, perhaps stemming from his history of severe childhood abuse. chris had been only 17 years old when he had participated in the murder of roger hunnicut. when his z execution date was set for december 7, 1993, he confessed to troy how frightened he was. troy saw the guards parading carissa disically in -- chris sadistically in front of the other death row inmates on the
evening of december 7th before leading him to the execution chamber to strap him in to the electric chair. troy sat in his cell hunched over on his bed waiting for the horrifying moment when the lights would flicker indicating that a high voltage current of electricity was coarsing through chris' body. every man on death row twitched this silent anger when the flickering began at 9:50 p.m. troy knelt on the hard floor, gripping the steel frame of his bed tightly and prayed for his friend. only later did he learn that chris berger's last words had been an apoloy to everyone he had -- apology to everyone he had ever hurt and a plea for
forgiveness. one of the guards who had paraded chris leaned against the bars of troy's cell. hey, davis, troy heard the guard. troy looked up. yeah? how'd you like to have some fries with that berger? troy resolved never to become quite so close to anyone else on death row again. [applause] >> man, hearing these words out of the mouths and in the voices of the people gathered up here today, i can't quite describe what -- the impact that's having on me. eve is going to read a passage from shortly after martina was
diagnosed with stage iv, very aggressive form of breast cancer. it was in 2001 that she was diagnosed, specifically march 28, 2001. and when she was diagnosed, her prognosis was six months or less. and as many of us gathered here know, martina outlived her diagnosis by a full decade plus. but eve is going to read a passage where it was just a few months in, just a few months into the six months that martina had been given. >> it was another bad night of vomiting, wretching and diarrhea. martina stayed curled up in bed in the morning listening to the sounds of mama getting her son ready and then everyone leaving the house. in another few weeks, her son would be 7 years old. in another few months, her brother would have spent ten
years on death row. martina scratched her head, coming away with a clump of hair. she stared at the fistful of hair for a long moment before pushing back the blanket, slowly sitting up in bed and pushing her feet into her slippers. she had a child to raise and a brother to get off death row. it was time to get up. martina opened the front door. of she took one shuffling step and then another, making it as far as the mailbox against which she leaned for support, feeling the warm georgia sun beat down on her face. tina, you all right? it was her neighbor from across the street. i'm all right. she let the sun warm her for a few more minutes. she might be dying, but she wasn't dying today. she made her way back into the house and without fully realizing what she was doing,
she found herself in the bathroom rubbing a generous amount of nair onto her head. when her son came home that afternoon, martina was waiting for him on the couch wearing her favorite dress and her head fully wrapped in a colorful scarf with an african motif. as he approached, she pulled off the scarf unveiling a shiny bald head. her son jumped back for a moment, then he wrapped his arms around her and squeezed tightly. doesn't look bad, mom. you look really pretty today. she got up the next day and walked a few steps further. come on, let's walk down the street. her neighbor suggested the day after that. martina took her hand, and they slowly made their way to the corner and back. when trevor picked her up to take her to chemo, martina was fully made up, wearing jewelry and loud caribbean colors. i might have cancer, she told him when he looked at her
quizzically, but cancer doesn't have me. [applause] martina's strength slowly returned, and as her renewed strength lasted, she decided that not only was she not dying today, she wasn't also dying tomorrow. she likely wasn't dying next week or even next month. she could take a deep breath, relax and live her life without worrying that every moment might be her last. perhaps her illness was her creator's way of telling her, i need your anticipation. your attention. there's more that you need to do, and i need you to do it more abundantly. if she wasn't dying today, then she was going to live today. [applause] >> and the final passage is going to be read by ebony, and this passage is actually the
prelude to the book. but chronologically, it takes place october 7, 2011. so this was, um, a week after troy's funeral, and it's actually part of the moment that i described and i was talking about martina and i going into high gear working on the book. >> martina sits on her bed, childhood spread on her lap. is she lifts troy's second grade school picture from her lap and stares at it, smiling at the white milk ring around his mouth. school pictures were taken after lunch. troy always drank milk at lunch, and when the do you haveball drank milk -- goofball. mama would mutter when troy proudly presented her with his school picture. mama did not have to endure these last weeks, that's one blessing. what went through troy's head
during those final minutes? what was his feeling? troy's lead attorney told martina that troy spoke his final words and then went peacefully. the life draining from his eyes as if god helped him with his transition. martina trusted jay. he would not lie to her. but how can she be sure that her brother did not feel any pain? she traces the fading edges of an even older photo. martina must have been 3 years old. mom had dressed her that easter morning in a ridiculous, frilly white bonnet, white sleeveless dress with a poof my skirt and lacy white leggings. troy had a on a light gray three-piece suit with the jacket removed. little tina clutched troy's hand protectively as they began -- as
they both squinted solemnly into the camera. martina fought with every ounce of her strength to prove troy's innocence and kept him alive, even when she was weakened by cancer and chemotherapy. what more could she have done? it's too painful to stare at the photos any longer. she tucks them behind a stack of con collins -- con doll lens letters. ..
o mr. to support the prison officials who handled his mate mail not to think of him in sexual terms. any part of the envelope with full's handwriting on it, martina opened the flap and pulled out the paper. she unfolds it. rise fall on the last message in the final letter, make sure you finish writing your book. [applause] >> we had an important question, what do we do now? i want to invite laura, laura moye, someone you haven't met
yet, sarah. i want to have this conversation in honor of someone who taught me a lot of what it means to be a leader, martina, troy's sister. with this is about is we have a job to do. our job is we have to put an end to the death penalty in every state in the nation that continues to execute in our lifetime. when i say that, i mean that. how do we abolish the death penalty in our lifetime? i invite cheryl who has worked on two successful campaigns in connecticut and maryland. i am going to ask cheryl the state of the movement now. >> i want to say thank you for
allowing me to be here. i was a student at north carolina when i was organizing around the troy davis campaign. i always said not only am i troy davis, i am kimberly davis, i have a brother and an uncle and maybe one day i will have sons and maybe they will be black men and they could be troy davis. from here, we go to our communities, we go to our churches and legislators and politicians and tells them if this is a broken system that can be fixed especially when the margin of error is innocent lives. we do have a few state campaigns under way right now. nebraska, kansas, new hampshire, delaware. you can find out how to get involved at our website. we also need to have an honest
discussion about what our communities really need. there isn't a silver bullet to answer the failing policies of the united states around public safety in. we need to have a coalition of victims's family members, criminal-justice organizations, formerly incarcerated brothers and sisters domestic around dismantling the system that overexaggerates punitive, dismissive, destructive policies and we need to start talking about preventive measures. [applause] >> i am going to ask laura moye, what do we need to be as organizers? where does the movement need to go in order to win? >> is this song? can you hear m ?
can you hear me?on ? can you hear me?? can you hear me? i would like to thank the person who has been very modest tonight because his book is here, really because of hard work emotionally and physically and mentally by jen marlowe. [applause] >> i know she is listed as the co author but really, she did an amazing job partner in with martina and troy to bring their story to us and to really extend the story that so many of us were privileged to be part of for so long, to figure a group of people who had not heard of
troy davis until now. i really want to thank her for her efforts that she made to bring this book to life. it is important that we document our movement. if you haven't seen the beautiful photographs of scott langley, wave your hand. he is down here from upstate new york. if you google scott langley troy davis you will see these photographs that show the magic of this movement. i guess i have two points on where do we go from here. we have got to do the boring sometimes. when i look at the photos and think about the amazing journey i was on and the connections i had with so many of you in the room, they were pure magic to me. i am trying not to get choked up
this evening so i can be coherent. we didn't get here overnight. martina worked with me and several others in georgia for of very long time before that moment hit when everybody in georgia knew who troy davis was after decades of nobody knowing who he was, nobody paying attention to the death penalty. we had meetings, lots of meetings. we were building structures and networks of people to be able to mobilize. going to the state legislature, that is really hard work to do especially in the state of georgia to talk to lawmakers about the death penalty and troy's case really open up something new. an opportunity to bring the horrible reality of the death penalty to popular consciousness, and we couldn't
have done it had we not been preparing, had we not had amazingly talented people cultivating their skills in the movement and were giving of themselves so generously and that is what jen marlowe did. we were able to connect and she said what can i do to help this movement? so many of you i would be getting myself in deep trouble if i tried to start naming you all because i know i would miss people but there was a real generous outpouring of people's talents and efforts. the best of what people had to give went into the movement that martina was really the visionary spark, and troy davis became the faith of the death penalty issue. we have got the support organizations that do this work. amnesty international is the one i worked for for 15 years and i
think it is important to support organizations like amnesty, like the naacp, and the campaign, so many organizations, i think we need a combination of people who make this individual effort like jen marlowe and those who are trying to build organizations that can serve movements and i was honored to work under the leadership of larry koch because you understood if amnesty was to be anything great it was to serve the movement, the human-rights movement so we have got to be about building, working in the boring times, bringing more people so it is not always a conversation among people who already get it and this case helped us to talk to people who were really clueless. my grandmother who is completely knocked into politics or
anything was interested in this, she was puzzled by it but there were many people who gave us stories about how people that were just really not tuned in to anything related to human rights wanted to know what was going on with the story and this is such a powerful story. telling the story, keeping the memory of this story alive, putting it into other visionary movements and movement building is really central. i think that was long winded. >> thank you. [applause] >> i want to bring laura -- lawrence into the conversation. lawrence is important because he experienced it. in talking about what i call the death penalty machine operates within a larger criminal justice system plagued with racial bias, played with an -- and injustice so profound that don't have the
words to articulate what is in front of us. i want to ask where do we need to overcome? do we need to be in order to win? >> first of all for this was a hard story for me to read. it was. i take you to the very end of that with god, do you want fries with your burger, playing on the fact that chris berger had just been executed, had just been electrocuted. that type of mentality that we need to work on and we need to work on it in our own community. that type of statistic, in a humane approach to thinking, we know people who do it, some of
them in our households, we have to confront it, that type of mentality. with regard to the overall issue of the death penalty, the south, we need to put a lot of focus on the south. with the issue of the death penalty as intricately tied to the issue of humanity, all of us, how central appreciation value and respect for life. it is fortunately or unfortunately the church, religion, and so-called harbors
of life, of god's creation, and i think we need to go into every church, everywhere, and andreas the moral issue through the church that the death penalty must be abolished. [applause] >> the death penalty is the tip of the iceberg of man's inhumanity to man. [applause] >> i will pose the same question to you. >> years ago when i was released from prison, i was released with
my mind in a fog. i had this burning question i would always ask, a question of how could something like this happen to us? i met a comrade named lee, discussing the case with her and understanding the greater issues at hand, i began to really understand. i had basically remove a lot of my case. i had to let it go. i was reminded of this man who called for the reinstatement of the death penalty, specifically for our case.
me and my comrade, raymond santana, kevin richardson, they wanted us in central park, it was the same bloodthirsty nests that i began to really connect with and understanding that had this been the 50s, had this been the 40s, had this been the early part of the 60s, they would have broken our doors down, drag us from our homes, and we would have become some of those -- they turned them into postcards and called them picnics but it was a picnic with a picture of black and brown folks burned at the stake with their members cut away from them and many of them had been hung.
i began to really understand how devious this system is that we are fighting. this isn't just about saying there are some people who are criminals and so forth and so on. this is about how the central park 5 plays a part of this history of injustice that has gone on and continues to go on if we don't do anything. this is about as dismantling the system that continues rolling down the hills of which we are
climbing. i realized you can't -- there are a whole bunch of things that need to happen. many of us get it. i looked around the room as i came in, i am in a room full of comrades, friends and family and a lot of people in this room, this dismantling the we are about, this system is rotten to the core. there is no conforming, there is no adjusting, there is -- we need to demolish this whole system and begin anew because the way things have been going -- [applause] >> i sit on the board of the campaign to end the death
penalty and losing troy davis was hard. i spoke to troy. i was in chicago and martina came to me and said troy is on the phone. i felt a little nervous speaking with him but i spoke to him and i had so much hope and so much tremendous -- the feeling was he has got to be one of those that escapes'. and of course we got the word and it became clear that we are fighting the same system of
injustice that put black and brown folks on postcards and sent them out to the rest of the world as if they were having a picnic. [applause] >> i want you to join me in thanking our panelists. [applause] >> i think that how we win, and if you hear the word from those that just spoke, we win when we find deep within us the belief that we can. we have enough power in this room to win and we owe it to troy davis, we owe it to martina, we owe it to his family and today is the day is the only we choose we can and we do win.
join me in thanking the panelists. [applause] >> one member of the davis family who's so much wanted to be with us tonight and he couldn't because he had his first college exams this morning, martina's son, a freshman right now in atlanta at, and yusef salaam talked about dismantling systems and build each other up and support each other and support young men who had a vision not only for what we need to break down but what we need to build up to replacing with. he is an extraordinary young men and activist and this is an
opportunity to come together and support his education and support this amazing opportunity he has had to study. for anyone who wants to do that the tee shirt that i am wearing and the davis family is wearing, kim made them, our special book launch teacher, our proceeds support their education fund. if you want to make a direct contribution to the fund you can. if you are not able to do it tonight the want to find out later please e-mail troy davis@yahoo!.com and we will get you all the information about how to support this tremendously courageous incredible family who will continue to go on in wendy's words saving the world. [applause] >> to the very near end of the evening i want to say thank you. i want to have a moment of silence before i do what we like to call our call to action.
i want to have a moment of silence for troy and for martina and i want us to bring their energy, and a virginia and troy's mom, martina's mom virginia, i want us to bring their energy with us. can we do that? can we do that? we have the power, the power is ours. we demand justice. we will get justice. today is the day. we do it for troy, we do it for martina and we do it for every troy whose name we will never know.
today we choose, today we choose justice. it is ours. no more dead bodies. no more live stolen. no more in just this. injustice to one is an injustice to all and we have all endured an injustice. we are heartbroken and we have cried and we have more aurned ae are in pain. we will lead and we will cry and we will fight and we will do it knowing that we don't stand alone. troy davis is in this room. martina is in this room. virginia is in this room. and we tell them when we abolish the death penalty and every single state in this nation, we will do it screening "i am troy
davis"! i want us to close with him, with his words. what we are about to hear is troy davis's last words before the state of georgia decided to inject him with a lethal cocktail and take his life. i want to give you, we want to give you, he wanted to give you hope. >> first of all i would like -- this situation, you are still convinced that i killed the father and the sun and the
brother. that night at 11:00 i did not have the gun that night. i did not shoot. i am so sorry for your loss, i really am. you really are the beacon of truth. my family and friends, strong to give and fight. they are about to take my life. god bless you all. you will have a purpose. >> we are a family. are we movement? family, are we going to win? i don't believe you. are we going to win? are you ready to get chanting?
whenever i ask people to chant i say chanting is not about screaming or yelling. it is about letting your soul speak for you. i am going to ask you to stand up and we are going to be mad as we close in age and why troy davis's niece, princess kingston who is going to help lead us. can you hold applause for her? [applause] >> ready? one, 2, 3. >> i am troy davis. i am troy davis. i am troy davis.
i am troy davis. >> i am troy davis. i am troy davis. i am troy davis. we are troy davis. you got to go lauder. i want the building to shake. ready to lead them again? >> we are troy davis. we are troy davis. we are troy davis. we are troy davis. we are troy davis. we are troy davis. we are troy davis. >> we are troy davis. we are troy davis. >> we are -- i want to thank you for coming. i want to call on you to take action. i want to call on you before you
leave. get the "i am troy davis" book, get it signed. i want to call on you to take action, pledge yourself to take action. you can go to amnesty international's website and pledge for troy that you will continue to fight the good fight. we are troy davis. [applause] >> visit booktv.org to watch any programs use your online. type the author or book title in the search bar on the upper left side of the page and click search. you can share anything you see on booktv.org by clicking share on the upper left side of the page and selecting the format. booktv streams live online for
48 hours every weekend with top nonfiction books and authors. booktv.org. >> i am standing in front of the 1905 wright flyer iii, the first practical airplane, the third and final experimental airplane that the right brothers built and it survives as the second oldest of their airplanes to the. is airplane which orville wright considered the world's first practical airplane was constructed and flown in less than six years time between the time that they built their kite and the success of this particular airplane. this is also a plane that was bill two years after their first flight at kitty hawk, n.c. on december 17th, 1903. what is interesting to think about is that the right flyer in kittyhawk. four times on one very historic day. there were four important flights and they very much for