David and Roselyn Benefit

by

Fifth Estate # 74, March 5-19, 1969

The Monteith Student Board will present a concert featuring David & Roselyn Wednesday and Thursday evenings, March 12 and 13 in WSU’s Upper DeRoy Auditorium at 8 p.m.

David and Roselyn bring an unusual blend of voices to the folk and blues medium. They are a self-contained unit using guitars and Kalimba, an African Thumb piano.

The concert is a benefit performance to raise money for legal expenses for David and Roselyn Leonard who, with their two children, their friend Shawn and their cat, were driving through Houston, Texas in November of 1967 in their all-white, 60 passenger, 1950 International school bus with stained glass windows, when they were stopped by Houston’s finest for supposedly having stolen the bus.

The Leonards are out on $6,000 bond for which Roselyn’s mother put up her house as security. They have raised all but $500 of their lawyer’s fee.

Since the recent case in Houston of Black Power Leader Lee Otis Johnson being given thirty years for a single joint (reportedly planted on him by the pigs, too), the Leonards have little hope that the 1/2 teaspoon of grass the pigs “found” in the trunk of their bus will win the interracial couple an easy acquittal.

At the station, Roselyn began to lock the bus and was told to stop and desist by the senior pig. When she demanded to know why she could not lock up the bus the cop put his hand on the butt of his pistol and said, “Because I said so!”

This seemed like an excellent reason to all concerned. So they left a bus full of expensive camping equipment, several hundred dollars worth of tools, an electric steam-dry-spray iron, a transistor radio and other sundry items, most of which were missing when the Leonards once again took possession of their bus.

Their sleeping bag was not stolen but pissed on so that three days later it was still soaking wet. Also missing said David, “was our white cat ‘Fart Dart’ that we had raised from a kitten. After three days in jail, that was the crowning heartbreaking indignity.”

During their detainment, the pigs came up with several charges including forgery and prostitution, both of which were dropped, but never again mentioned the bus being stolen after showing David a supposed teletype message from Alabama mentioning a stolen bus.”

Anyone who would like to help and cannot attend the concert is invited- to send contributions to “David and Roselyn Legal Defense Fund” in care of the Open City Office, 4726 Third, Detroit, Mich. 48201. Any money over the necessary amount will be donated to Legal Self Defense (LSD) for the Community.

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