Rev. Daughtry's weekly article that appears in the NY Daily Challenge every Wednesday and Friday.

Freedom Struggles Weekend – February 10-13, 2007
Fred Douglass IV and Rev. Fred Shuttlesworth Part III

Before I continue with Freedom Struggles Weekend, just a reference to the Sunday, February 4 Super Bowl Game, which pitted two Black coaches, Lovie Smith, Chicago Bears and Tony Dungy, Indianapolis Colts. All who know me are aware of my love for the game of football. It demands skills, toughness, determination, boldness, and thinking, the capacity to perform while hurt and team work. All of the stuff of which life is made and winners must possess.

If it were left to me, I would band war and let nations settle their differences on the football field. They could vent all rage, hostility, frustration and anger on the grid iron. There might be bruises and broken bones but no death and destruction of land and properties.

For Toney Dungy and Lovie Smith, it was the first time that two Black coaches made it to the Super Bowl. Mr. Dungy had hired Mr. Smith, as an assistant coach years before. Another assistant Dungy had hired was Herman Edwards. Mr. Edwards coached the New York Jets until the 2005-2006 season, after which he accepted the job to coach the Kansas City Chiefs. I don’t know Mr. Dungy or Mr. Smith but I knew Mr. Edwards. He was the New York Jets first Black head coach. Occasionally, I would go out to the field and watch the Jets practice. He was always friendly and accessible. He was a hard working, hard driving coach who loved to inspire his players with wise proverbs, challenging stories and illustrations. He was full of energy and ethusauium (see my article entitled, To the Jets with Love). Unlike Dungy, who always appeared to be clam and composed, Edwards was vivacious and demonstrative.

Mr. Dungy gives the appearance of being likable and deeply religious. Without controversy, he is knowledgeable and sagacious in the ways of football. He has known hard and painful times. His oldest son committed suicide last year. He was fired by the Tamper Bay Buccaneers after he had transformed the Bucs from continuous losers to continuous winners. But because he couldn’t win the Super Bowl he was fired. Fortunately, almost immediately he was hired by the Colts. As he had done in Tamper Bay, so he did in Indianapolis. The Colts became perpetual winners. And they won the big one, the Super Bowl.

I was in a dilemma, who to root for. I finally, came down on the side of Mr. Dungey for all the reasons cited above. Also, he was the elder. He deserves to be the first Black coach to win a Super Bowl.

After the game was over, I was glad I had rooted for him. He said all the right things. He expressed his faith. He articulated his indebtedness to coaches who had paved the way. Lionel Taylor and Sherman Lewis. He was profuse in his gratitude. He thanked and praised the owners of the team who had hired him and the players and coaches who played for him. His humility and sincerity and gratitude were very impressive.

Hopefully, the success of these two coaches will push open the door further and inspire young and old to strive for greatness in whatever the endeavors. And to complete the day on a joyful note for me, Florida State University, who I like, defeated Duke whom I dislike in a basketball game 68-67.

Now, we return to Freedom Struggles Weekend. Once we complete the ceremony at the River Pier, the caravan will move on, next stop will be the first AMEZ Church on Church Avenue. There is a marker there. We hope one day to have a stature or a more conspicuous identification, likewise, for the Douglass marker. Hopefully, one day there will be a stature where the marker is on the Hudson Pier.

After Fred Douglass arrived in New York immediately he sent for his wife Anna Murray.
They were married in the AMEZ Church by a Black minister named J. W. C. Pennington. It was at this church that Sojourn Truth changed her name.

In the vicinity there were two other Black churches before they moved to Harlem, St Phillip Episcopal Church and Abyssinian Baptist Church.
Leaving the AMEZ Church, a few blocks down the street, on Lispenard Street was the Safe House of David Ruggles. In 1838, Mr. Ruggles is given credit of publishing the first Black magazine in the USA, “Mirror of Liberty”. In the same year, he produced the magazine, he gave shelter to Frederick Washington Bailey a.k.a. Fred Douglass. Mr. Ruggles died in 1849 at the age of thirty-nine.

From the Safe House, the next and final stop will be at City Hall. There will be a rally in the City Hall court yard followed by a reception inside sponsored by Council member Allan Gerson.
To be continued
Press Conference
Thursday, February 8 @11:00 a.m. at City Hall
Church and N. Y. State Resolutions
Subject: Calling for corporations to divest from the Sudanese Government
Organizing Meeting on Darfur
each Thursday, noon to two p.m.
at The House of the Lord Church 415 Atlantic Avenue, Brooklyn, NY
On February 8, 2007, at 7:00 p.m.
I will be speaking at
Technology Resource Center, 27 South Van Brunt Street, Englewood, New Jersey
Rev. Shuttlesworth will be speaking
Saturday, February, 10, at noon instead of 2:00 p.m.
at the House of the Lord