On Sunday, June 26, a group of eighty Houston activists and community members came out to hear the incredible story of injustice and the courageous and fighting words of Anthony Graves about his long journey to freedom. The event was sponsored by the Witness to Innocence and the Death Penalty Abolition Movement at the SHAPE Community Center.
Anthony received several standing ovations from the crowd of community activists and abolitionists who welcomed him with open arms.
Thanks for the formal welcome from Ed Banks, da mayor of Third Ward; Minister Robert Muhammad who brought greetings from the Nation of Islam; Krystal Muhammad with the NBPP; Reggie Gordon with Operation Outreach OG1; Don Cook with the Harris County Green Party; Kofi Taharka with the National Black United Front; Hooman Hedayati with the Witness to Innocence, and Neferitti Jackmon who brought greeting from SHAPE’s executive director Deloyd Parker.
Sister Njeri Shakur chaired the meeting and celebration. Gloria Rubac presented Anthony, who listened to almost every game of the Houston Astros on his radio while on death row, an official Houston Astros jersey with his name and the #1 personalized on the back of the jersey. Anthony also received a shirt from Witness to Innocence that reads “I was Innocent and Survived Death Row. Ask me about it.”
Almost a dozen news media outlets were present to interview Anthony before the meeting.
Houston Chronicle: “The very system that almost took my life for something I did not do still exists. Yet I am still hopeful,” Anthony Graves, 45, told a crowd at the S.H.A.P.E. Community Center.