(January 22, 2003 – New York, NY) - During the month of February 2003, Black History Month, "Judge Mathis" will air in-show vignettes celebrating the lives and achievements of some of the many African-Americans who helped build this country and fought for what they believed in. These spots focus on battles for justice and "the call to action." They include journalist/activist/ambassador Frederick Douglass and his fight for civil rights, women's rights and world peace; Harriet Tubman and Nat Turner and their fight to end slavery; Martin Luther King Jr. and Rosa Parks who fought for civil rights and voting rights. "Judge Mathis" celebrates those who struggled, battled and won and encourages the next generation to continue what their predecessors started. Judge Mathis states, "… honoring them [those who made their mark on history] is simply not enough - it is our responsibility to continue what they started." Following in the steps of Frederick Douglass who stressed the importance of staying together and the spirit of unity, "… we need to examine ourselves and give back to our families and communities." In the names of those ancestors who were courageous enough to stand up for their rights, there are still battles today that need to be won. "I am who I am because Dr. King, Medgar Evers and Malcolm X and so many others gave their lives for me," Judge Mathis states. "Through their efforts, we've come a long way, but our journey is not over. Will you help pave the way for the next generation?" As a young man, Greg Mathis was involved with gangs, dropped out of school, spent time in jail and then, as a promise to his dying mother, turned his life around. He attended college, earned a law degree, became the youngest judge in Michigan’s history and then served as a Superior Court Judge for Michigan’s 36th District. Known for running his courtroom with a no-nonsense style and streetwise sensibility, Mathis often uses himself as an example to those who appear before him. The key to Mathis’ success in the courtroom is his relatability. Having made the journey from behind bars to passing the bar, Mathis believes rehabilitation is within everyone’s reach if they receive the right guidance, which is what he tries to provide. In addition to upholding the rule of law in court, he makes it a point to stress that education is the key to a better future. Judge Mathis” is produced by And Syndicated Productions and Telepictures Productions in association with Black Pearl Entertainment and distributed by Warner Bros. Domestic Television Distribution.
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