Celebrating the 50th Anniversary of Selma

Harper-Archer middle School students were excited to meet Rev. Dr. Bernice King (center) while in Selma; Sherry Williams (far right)

Harper-Archer middle School students were excited to meet Rev. Dr. Bernice King (Center) while in Selma, Sherry Williams (far right)

On Sunday, in celebration of the 50th Anniversary of the march across the Pettus bridge in Selma, I traveled there for the third year in a row. This year I traveled with five students from Harper-Archer Middle School and two staff. Thanks to the kindness of friends, the students did not have to pay for this truly historic and educational bus trip.

We were part of a three bus caravan that left from The King Center on Auburn Avenue to Selma, Alabama. On the trip down, we watched DVDs that featured Rev. Dr. C.T. Vivian, Ambassador Andrew Young, and other civil rights leaders who gave the “back story” on events leading up to the Selma March.

On the trip back to Atlanta, we watched the DVD of the 47th Annual Commemoration of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. It is held at Ebenezer Baptist Church, produced by The King Center,  and televised live on FOX 5 in Atlanta on the King Holiday. While I saw the live broadcast, it was great to see it again. Everyone on our bus was inspired by it as they were still “high” from the Selma march experience (most seeing it for the first time).

Other than being on the Pettis Bridge, the highlight of the trip for the was three of the students taking a picture with Rev. Bernice King (the other two hesitated and missed it) after she spoke on all three of our buses before we left Selma. She is humble and inspiring. Wow! What a great way to end our trip!

While tens of thousands traveled to Selma to do the historic march, it would be great if just 10% who are not currently actively involved in voter registration and their local communities would become involved. It only takes 6-10 hours per month! It would be the people power that most communities and nonprofits need to be more productive.

And, it is exactly what we need to help preserve and defeat efforts to strip away our voting rights given to us in theVoting Rights Act. It is one thing to participate an important day in history in Selma.  It is another thing to commit to help organizations and causes that are working to help Rev. Martin Luther King’s dream become reality.

Whether you commit to volunteering at you local social justice church, NAACP, SCLC, NAN, community meeting, etc., you would be blessed and amazed at the difference you could make!! So go ahead. Do not delay. Identify a group to help and volunteer within thirty days. Then when the 51st Anniversary of Selma comes in 2016, you can celebrate your accomplishments. And, you would make our ancestors proud as you continue to honor, work and insure their sacrifices of blood, sweat, and tears was not in vain.