Tamika Mallory receives “Drum Major for Justice Award” from Perry County Civic League. L to R: Mayor Dexter Hinton of Marion, Luther Winn, Greenetrack CEO, State Senator Bobby Singleton, and Walt Maddox, Mayor of Tuscaloosa
The Perry County Civic League honored over 50 Perry County natives that have secured nursing degrees
Last Sunday, February 18, 2018 the Jimmie Lee Jackson Memorial Program was held at Marion Baptist Academy in Perry County to memorialize the death of Jimmie Lee Jackson who was martyred 53 years ago in February 1965. Jackson’s death intensified the voting rights movement in the Black Belt of Alabama and led to the March 7, 1965 “Bloody Sunday March” from Selma-to-Montgomery, where marchers were beaten by Alabama State Troopers and deputized local citizens.
The march from Selma-to-Montgomery was ultimately successful and led to the passage of the 1965 Voting Rights Act which gave Black people back the right to vote which was lost in the Reconstruction period following the Civil War and passage of the 13th, 14th and 15th amendments to the U. S. Constitution.
The Jimmie Lee Jackson Day starts a three-week celebration and commemoration called the Bridge Crossing Jubilee with events in and around Selma related to the passage of the Voting Rights Act. The Jubilee is the largest continuous celebration of civil rights in the United States.
The Perry County Civic League sponsors the Jimmie Lee Jackson Program each year. This year’s program included honoring over 50 Perry County natives that have secured nursing degrees of various kinds since the beginning of the movement in 1965. Albert Turner Jr. and Ms. Willie Neal Avery with the Perry County Civic League presided over the program.
State Senator Bobby Singleton, Circuit Judge Marvin Wiggins, the Mayor of Marion, John Heard III, Superintendent of Perry County Schools, and Walt Maddox, Mayor of Tuscaloosa, who is running for Governor of Alabama, gave short greetings.
Corey D. Hawkins, Most Worshipful Grand Master of Prince Hall Masons gave a special greeting on behalf of a large group of masons who attended the meeting. Hawkins pointed out that Jimmie Lee Jackson was a member of the Masons whose life was cut short of its full potential in 1965, while protecting his mother and grandfather from a police beating connected to a civil rights meeting in Marion.
Tamika Mallory, Executive director of the National Action Network and one of four National Co-Chairs of the Womens March on Washington, held in January 2017, to protest the Inauguration of Donald Trump as President. Mallory said that her family roots were in Monroeville, Alabama and her mother sent her to spend summers with her grandmother and aunts in Monroe County, which taught her about life in America for her poorest people. She also was exposed to the civil rights movement spending summers in Alabama in the 1980’s and early 1990’s.
Mallory said,” I learned at the intersectionality, where the women’s movement and the civil rights movement meet that new leaders are needed to carry the work forward. Those leaders cannot feel too comfortable with their positions. You must lead because you want to help people build a better world where everyone will have a chance to feel comfortable.” The Perry County Civil League awarded Mallory with its “Drum-Major for Justice Award”.
Jubilee Festival returns to Water Street
The Selma City Council at its February 13 meeting voted to allow the 2018 Bridge Crossing Jubilee Festival to be held downtown on Water Avenue as it has been for previous decades except for last year.
State Senator Hank Sanders said: “This is a win for Selma, a win for Alabama, a win for the country. The Bridge Crossing Jubilee is a national and international event. I am so glad that matters could be worked out with the City of Selma so that the Bridge Crossing Jubilee can continue to serve the tens of thousands who come each year.
“I am very appreciative to Councilman Michael Johnson and the Selma City Council for taking this positive action. I also want to thank the Mayor and all the other Members of the City Council for helping to make it possible for the Jubilee to be back on Water Avenue, where it has been for more than two decades, with the exception of 2017.”
The Bridge Crossing Jubilee has brought two sitting U.S. Presidents, Bill Clinton and Barack Obama; two former presidents, George W. Bush and Bill Clinton; a sitting Vice President, Joe Biden; numerous Cabinet members, Members of Congress, U.S. Senators, Civil Rights leaders, and internationally known celebrities.
This is the 53rd Anniversary and Commemoration of the Selma-to-Montgomery March. The Bridge Crossing Jubilee has been held every year for more than two decades. Most of the events are free to the public.
Annual Martin and Coretta Scott King ‘Unity Breakfast’
The Bridge Crossing Jubilee this year has more than 40 events over a four-day period. One of these events is the Annual Martin and Coretta King Unity Breakfast at 7:30 a.m. on Sunday, March 4th, on the campus of Wallace Community College Selma.
The Martin and Coretta King Unity Breakfast features messages from leaders from across the country. This year Congresswoman Maxine Waters will receive the 2018 Martin and Coretta King Unity Award. Congresswoman Waters has been an outspoken champion for justice and democracy for more than 25 years.
Other speakers at the breakfast include U.S. Senator Doug Jones, Congresswoman Terri Sewell, Repairers of the Breach President Rev. Dr. William Barber, NAACP Legal Defense Fund President and Director-Counsel Sherrilyn Ifill, National Educational Association President Lily Eskelsen García, Southern Christian Leadership Conference National President Charles Steele, and Rainbow PUSH Coalition Founder and President Rev. Jesse Jackson. We also expect that Congressman John Lewis and Congresswoman Barbara Lee will share in the recognition of Congresswoman Waters.
Other presentations will include a performance by the Brazilian dance group, Viver Brasil Dance Company, which uses dance to support struggles for freedom. Also, the original Freedom Singers from the Voting Rights Struggle will be performing. This year marks the 50th anniversary of the assassination of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Dr. William Barber is carrying on the Poor People’s Campaign in honor of and in the spirit of Dr. King. Dr. King initiated this Campaign just before he was assassinated in 1968.
More information on tickets for all events is available at:www.BridgeCrossingJubilee.com.