On Thursday, December 1st, 2011, Human Rights Activist Martina Davis-Correia lost her hard faught battle with breast cancer. She was 44. Martina was the sister of death row inmate Troy Davis, for whom she waged a twenty year battle to save his life and exonerate him from prison. Troy was executed by the state of Georgia on September 21st. Martina was able to turn a local issue into a global movement to save her brother's life and focus the worlds attention on the Death Penalty in America. Both Troy and Martina mantained their claim of Troys innocence to the end, both with resolve and grace.
It was during her fight to save her brother that she was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2002. Thus began Martina's duel track fight for both her brother and herself. When she wasn't leading the charge to free Troy, she was taking a leading role in the National Black Leadership Initiative on Cancer. In this position she helped with cancer prevention and education of people of color and to find ways to eradicate cancer in her community.
It was during my coverage of the Troy Davis case that I started meeting and interviewing Martina during her stops in Atlanta. I was immediately taken by her inner strength and courage in the face of such an up hill battle to save her brother. She seemed to know it would be a long hard fight, and she was prepared to go every round, and never back down. She gave strength and energy to others during her speeches like I had rarely seen before. And it wasn't a matter of being a loud speaker, but rather the power of her resolve to save her brother that moved so many in a crowd. It was truely contagious.
This is my tribute to this giant of a woman. This warrior for justice and human rights. People like Martina are rare and precious and must be remembered by the people they have touched. This 53 minute film are the speeches Martina gave in Atlanta while fighting to free her brother, plus the interviews I did with her after the rallies. It ends with my last, brief, interview with her just hours before Troy was executed. I had a strange feeling that would be the last time we would talk to each other.
Martina has left us, but I'm sure wherever people are demanding justice and freedom, her echo will be nearby, reminding us to never give up, to never surrender. Because she never would.
Martina Davis-Carreia........Presente! 1967-2011 http://www.archive.org/details/Tribute_To_Martina_Correia