One of the co-founders of the Black Panther Party, he was gagged during the "Chicago Eight" trial on this day in 1969. The eight defendants were charged with conspiracy to cross state lines in order to incite a riot during the 1968 Democratic National Convention. During the trial, Seale shouted at the judge (Julius Hoffman) and interrupted the proceedings numerous times. The judge responded by having Seale gagged. The image of an African-American citizen bound and gagged in a court room, which was published all across the country, gave symbolic credence to everything Seale was trying to say about racism and injustice. Bear in mind that this happened during the height of the Vietnam War. At the time of Seale's gagging, Richard Nixon was in the White House. Widely broadcast images of riot police descending on demonstrators during the Chicago convention were still relatively fresh in the public mind. Seale was eventually separated from the other defendants, tried separately, and sentenced to prison for 48 months on contempt charges. The following is a clip of what Seale looked and sounded like during those days. The YouTube post does not include information about the date or venue.
Born this day in 1945, she won a Tony for her performance in the Broadway hit musical, Purlie. The daughter of saxophonist, Teddy Hill, she received several Grammy nominations and landed several hits on the R&B charts in her post-Broadway career. Here she is in a lovely rendition of "Lean on Me."
We know this Oscar-winning actor (born 1947) for stellar performances in Jaws, American Graffiti, The Goodbye Girl, and Tom Stoppard's Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead. But this scene from Mr. Holland's Opus is my favorite. It's the part where the artist, forced to teach in order to make ends meet, finally stops being angry at the kids he's been called upon to serve. It's the moment when he begins to understand that you can't teach people anything until you find out who they are. Up till this point, he is a musician who does not know how to listen. This is the scene where he begins to change. For all your good work over the years, and for this beautiful film, thank you, Richard Dreyfus, and Happy Birthday.