“Stand on your feet, black boy—stand up,” screamed the enraged owner of a local soda fountain. It was around 1930 and eight-year-old Leon H. Sullivan was told that he had no right—as an African American—to sit down and order a Coke at a neighborhood shop in his hometown of Charleston, W.Va.
The incident at the soda fountain was his first experience with blatant prejudice and would set his life’s work in motion. It was a pivotal point in the life of a man who would go on to mentor Martin Luther King, help free Nelson Mandela and play a significant role in ending apartheid in South Africa. It was the beginning of Rev. Leon Sullivan’s life-long mission to fight discrimination—a life that included creating the Opportunities Industrialization Centers (OIC), job training programs that have trained about 1.5 million people in 142 centers worldwide.
“A Principled Man: Rev. Leon Sullivan” is a MotionMasters documentary that will take you on a journey from the mountains of West Virginia to America’s board rooms and across the fields of Africa. Meet the man who worked tirelessly for equal pay for equal work and integration of the races in all eating, comfort and work facilities. Meet the man whose legacy, the Sullivan Foundation, beckons a MotionMasters crew to Africa every other year to document the Foundation’s summit conferences in video.
At each summit, African, American and world leaders collaborate in their quest to improve human rights, social justice, and economic fairness in Africa and to “Build a Bridge” between Africa and America. We’re there for every history-making moment of each summit and have captured images that will astound you with their power and clarity.In 2008, the summit site was Tanzania. Next, it’s on to Morocco. See stunning HD highlights from the last mission and stay linked to this site for footage from the upcoming 2011 trip. Already there’s great anticipation at the thought of who may pay a visit to his native land of Africa for the summit.