On Friday, January 25, 2019, Northeastern University President Joseph E. Aoun hosted A Tribute to the Dream: A Celebration of the Life and Legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
The event featured the premiere of a documentary on a CRRJ case, produced by Northeastern filmmakers Adam Fischer and Benjamin Bertsch, titled A Murder in Mobile. The film tells the story of the murder of Rayfield Davis, a 53-year-old resident of Mobile, Alabama who was beaten to death by Horace M. Miller, a 20-year-old co-worker on March 7, 1948. Miller abandoned Davis’ body in a drainage ditch on the side of the railroad tracks. CRRJ’s Kaylie Simon successfully petitioned the Mobile City Council, on behalf of the Davis family, to recognize Davis with a street sign on the road where he met his death. A commemorative event was held in Mobile in August 2018.
The film was followed by a conversation between Margaret Burnham and former Chief Justice of the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court, Roderick Ireland, now Distinguished Professor of Criminology and Criminal Justice. Danielle Ponder ‘ll, a graduate of the Law School and CRRJ, now a well-known artist, performed at the event.
Danielle Ponder and band
Photo by Adam Glanzman/Northeastern University
Family of Rayfield Davis with CRRJ student Chelsea Schmitz
Prior to the event, CRRJ and the John D. O’Bryant African American Institute presented I May Not Get There With You: A Murder in Mobile, The Legacy of Rayfield Davis. This prelude event featured Chelsea Schmitz, who opened the investigation of the Rayfield Davis case in 2013 when she was a CRRJ student; Kaylie Simon, who organized the Mobile events; and Nichole Ulmer, Rayfield Davis’ great-niece. The panel was moderated by Shytierra Gaston, Professor of Criminology.