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1960s Southern activist Dennis speaks at King ceremony in La Crosse



A student choir from Viterbo performs during the Martin Luther King community celebration on Monday

He was a 1960s civil rights activist.


David Dennis, Sr., was a Freedom Rider in the South in the early 60s and knew slain activist Medgar Evers and three white civil rights workers who were killed in 1964 for their activism.

Monday, he was the keynote speaker at Viterbo University’s celebration of Martin Luther King ceremony.

Dennis said he had encounters with the white activists and with Evers shortly before they died.

In today’s world, Dennis says violence in the culture contributes to racial problems and suspicion, for example, the treatment of minorities by white police.

Dennis also said young urban children today have a disadvantage if they don’t grow up with support from a traditional community.

He is active today in the Southern Initiative Algebra Project to help young people learn math and science skills and develop strong careers.

Hundreds filled the main theater at Viterbo for music, dance and speeches, during the community’s annual program honoring the King federal holiday.

A native of Prairie du Chien, Brad graduated from UW - La Crosse and has worked in radio news for more than 30 years, mostly in the La Crosse area. He regularly covers local courts and city and county government. Brad produces the features "Yesterday in La Crosse" and "What's Buried on Brad's Desk." He also writes the website "Triviazoids," which finds odd connections between events that happen on a certain date, and he writes and performs with the local comedy group Heart of La Crosse. Brad been featured on several national TV programs because of his memory skills.

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