By Gloria Zuurveen, Editor & Chief
The Reverend Raymond C. Fauntroy, affectionately known as Brother Ray, is a man of unwavering faith and a true soldier in God’s army. His tireless efforts in the battle for the souls and minds of individuals earned him the esteemed honor of receiving the 2022 GLORY AWARDS which was presented by the esteemed Parent Action Coalition for Education (PACE), a 501c3 nonprofit organization. PACE cordially invites you to join us in a Black History Moment to celebrating Brother Ray in 2024 for the soon to be released of his updated and revised and spiritualized with horns and a variety of sounds but the same voice, Brother Ray, is the writer, producer, editor and distributor of his hit single “First Man“.
Brother Ray’s mission is clear: to end the cycle of injustice faced by the Black community. Much like the iconic Civil Rights pioneer Fannie Lou Hamer, he refuses to accept the status quo and is determined to bring about a change in the fortunes of African Americans in the United States. He calls upon all who hear the resounding beat of his drum to unite and seek common ground for economic prosperity. According to Brother Ray, it is high time that African Americans reap the fruits of their labor, sweat, and tears—more than 400 years of toiling in this land. He adamantly opposes the ongoing exploitation of their efforts by others. Brother Ray’s own life is a testament to his unwavering commitment to social justice. From his early years, he experienced the bitter taste of racism, facing hostility and discrimination due to his skin tone. This formative experience ignited a burning desire within him to fight for racial equality.
Brother Ray’s journey in the civil rights movement began in the late 1950s, when he became affiliated with the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (S.C.L.C.). He had the immense privilege of serving as the personal driver for the revered Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. during Dr. King’s visits to the Washington, D.C. area. After Dr. King’s tragic assassination in 1968, Brother Ray’s determination to achieve equality for African Americans only intensified. In the late 1970s, Brother Ray relocated to Miami, Florida, leaving behind the memories of his past. Like the Apostle Paul, he pressed forward, dedicating himself to the pursuit of freedom and human rights for African Americans, Haitians, and other immigrants. Throughout his remarkable career, Brother Ray has held leadership positions in various organizations, including Executive Secretary of the Miami Branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), President of the Miami Chapter of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (S.C.L.C.), and President of the State of Florida Southern Christian Leadership Conference.
Brother Ray’s impactful work has garnered widespread recognition, earning him a well-deserved reputation as an inspirational speaker and a catalyst for change. As the head of Miami’s SCLC chapter, he spearheaded a successful voter registration campaign, adding 10,000 new voters to the rolls. His passionate advocacy also led to the organization of the first protest march against the deplorable treatment of Haitian refugees at the Krome Avenue Detention Center. This courageous act attracted an astounding 50,000 participants and resulted in a significant legal victory: the right to visit and provide assistance to the detained Haitians. Brother Ray’s leadership also played a pivotal role in preventing the construction of a controversial microwave antenna in the heart of the African American community. This triumphant campaign garnered attention from the federal government, ultimately leading to the passage of a federal law that classified such protests as felonies.
In addition to his local endeavors, Brother Ray’s commitment to empowering the African American community has extended to international efforts. He founded the “Organized the Free South Africa Movement” in Miami, which fostered new alliances and increased awareness. Notably, his efforts caught the attention of Nelson Mandela, who extended an invitation to Brother Ray and other African Americans to visit Johannesburg, South Africa. This momentous trip aimed to provide inspiration and solidarity to the South African people in their fight against apartheid.
Today, Brother Ray continues his mission of empowerment, employing innovative approaches to tackle the challenges faced by society. He firmly believes in the power of spiritual response, demonstrated through international drumming. By partnering with drumming as a form of expression, Brother Ray aims to inspire positive change and unite individuals in the face of adversity. His belief in the supremacy of a higher power is beautifully captured in his published works, “He’s Still God” and “Hold On.” These powerful testaments celebrate the presence and victory of a living God, empowering believers to make the change they wish to see in the world.