New movie, ‘Walk With Me: The Trials of Damon J. Keith,’ explores the gallantry fight against discrimination cases in the early 70’s by Damon J. Keith.
Damon J. Keith, a Black judge who courageously rose up against most laws of the federal government, which discriminated against Black people. Keith grew up in Detroit and got his education at Northwestern High School in 1939.
He continued studying at the West Virginia State College, Howard University School of Law, and finally Wayne State University Law School. Keith was elected as a co-chair of the Michigan Civil Rights Commission in 1964. Due to his excellent service, Senator Philip Hart recommended him to President Lyndon Johnson who subsequently nominated him to be a member of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan.
Keith handled many responsibilities in the justice sector and was later nominated to the Sixth Circuit by the then President Jimmy Carter, a position he handled with such bravery and excellence.
The newly compiled documentary will bring to light the ruggedness of Judge Keith in his handling of law cases which affected Black people. Keith collided with strong opposition during his career life – a situation that characterized his passion to attain equal justice in America.
The documentary of his career life was directed by Jesse Nesser, its’s a movie entitled, ‘Walk With Me: The Trials of Damon J. Keith.’ The film reflects the massive criticism and opposition Keith had to overcome as most of his ruling were against white supremacy. He handled discrimination cases with boldness and stood against racism in America at that time.
— John Beifuss (@JohnBeifuss) April 13, 2016
Some of Keith’s court rulings led to the end of segregation in Michigan and Hamtramck. He firmly stood his ground and protected Black people of America in the times when white supremacy had gained the ascendency.
Some of his rulings woke hatred in the hearts of white supremacists. The movie showcases his verdict that made it possible for Black students to be transported to school.
“What you are doing now is scrubbing some floors and opening doors for the next generation.” -Judge Damon J. Keith
— R.G. (@Ray_DaSongByrd) June 14, 2016
Among some of his famous ruling was that of the United States versus Sinclair in 1971. Keith ruled that it was unlawful for the United States to spy on its citizens without obtaining a search warrant.
Nesser shares his motivation behind the creation of the movie with CBS Detroit. He said, “We are living in a time when his story and his cases couldn’t be more relevant. He ruled on pioneer discrimination cases that dealt with our schools, neighborhoods, employment practices and racial balances on police force.” Meanwhile, the insightful film will be in all theaters across the nation soon.
What an inspiring story of a brave African-American! This movie is indeed timely to encourage the freedom fighters we have now so that they don’t relent on their efforts to see change. Courageous stories like this are usually untold. America is definitely in need of such men of valor at present. Black people have to stand for the change they desire despite the opposition challenges but it’s no as easy as it seems.
Source: Atlanta Blackstar