Montgomery was once again featured on the national stage Oct. 9 when NBC Nightly News anchor Lester Holt visited the capital city. The veteran broadcaster visited several sites in Montgomery, and anchored the Nightly News from Dexter Avenue, in front of the Dexter Avenue King Memorial Baptist Church and the state Capitol.
The broadcast featured an interview with Bryan Stevenson, founder and Executive Director of the Equal Justice Initiative. It is the EJI’s mission to challenge wrongful convictions and strive for racial justice.
Earlier this year, EJI opened the Legacy Museum and the National Memorial for Peace and Justice. These two attractions share the shameful history of lynching in America, bringing visibility to its victims. Holt was particularly moved during his visit to the memorial when he found a family name listed among the victims.
In addition, the news segment highlighted Althea Thomas, who has been the organist at the Dexter Avenue church for more than 60 years, after she was hired by the then-unknown young pastor, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Holt’s visit to Montgomery was part of a weeklong series dubbed the “Across America” tour. He also visited Houston, Texas; Kansas City, Missouri; San Diego, California; and Tampa, Florida.
About his visit to Montgomery, Holt told al.com, “We want to tap into stories that resonate with these communities that may resonate in other areas of the country and shine a light on the unique things about these cities. (Montgomery has) a rich and incredible story to tell.”
Convincing NBC to include Montgomery on the five-city tour was due in large part to the dedication of our local Raycom affiliate, WSFA, which pitched the city to the network scouting locations, together with the City, County, and the Montgomery Area Chamber of Commerce.
Sources: WSFA, al.com