Best Voice: Rev. Cortly “C.D.” Witherspoon

The Peoples Power Assembly’s Rev. Cortly “C.D.” Witherspoon is one of the protest movement’s most impassioned and eloquent speakers. A frequent face at protests for a while now, Witherspoon continued to appear and motivate activists long after most others had stopped attending the trials for the officers charged with Freddie Gray’s death. Witherspoon’s booming and fervid speeches, which emphatically tie the city’s divestment in black Baltimore to the uprising, terse indictments of capitalism, and inclusive nods to the LGBTQ community make him an especially cogent voice in the city. Over the summer, as protests once again grew in size, he was a leader at a march for Alton Sterling and Philando Castille that brought out a few hundred. And when that march resulted in a series of unnecessary arrests, it was Witherspoon who kept it moving along, all in an attempt to prevent further arrests, much to the chagrin of the Baltimore Police.

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