Selma Bridge Crossing Jubilee attended by thousands; Pushes theme of “Lift Our Vote 2020-Voting Rights Under Fire”

Before the re-enactment of the 1965 Blood Sunday March, 400 marchers in orange vests lay down on the Edmund Pettus Bridge for 400 seconds to commemorate the 400th anniversary of importation and enslavement of African people in Jamestown, Virginia in 1619. When the protestors stood up they each had a Manifesto to end voter suppression and reclaim voting rights in their hands.

By: John Zippert, Co-Publisher
Despite stormy weather, thousands attended the Bridge Crossing Jubilee, this past weekend in Selma, Alabama. Part a commemoration of the 54th anniversary of the March 7, 1965 “Bloody Sunday March for Voting Rights”; part a celebration of civil and voting progress in our nation; and part a recommitment to social change activism to correct voter suppression and bring more equity and dignity to the struggle for human rights in America.
The Jubilee was a combination of more than 40 events including workshops, a parade, a golf tournament; a unity breakfast, several award presentations, the “Foot Soldiers breakfast”, a beauty pageant, a mock trial, the “Freedom Flame dinner”, and the March re-enactment on Sunday afternoon.
Former Alabama State Senator Hank Sanders said at the opening Mass Meeting, at Tabernacle Baptist Church, on Thursday night, “the Selma Bridge Crossing Jubilee is the largest civil rights gathering in the nation, dedicated to furthering voting rights and human rights for people in our country and around the world.”
Sanders recalled that over 80,000 people attended the 50th anniversary celebration on Saturday in 2015, when President Obama attended and 110,000 people came to march that Sunday.
Attorney Faya Rose Toure (Sanders) who coordinates the Bridge Crossing Jubilee, said, “ We want to celebrate the courage of the people in the 1960’s who led the voting rights movement from Selma, but we must also recognize the current day’s rampant voter suppression in this country and the fact that Selma is the ninth poorest city in America with a high rate of crime and homicides.”

Faya Rose also pointed out that 2019 is the 400th anniversary of the enslavement of African people in north America, with the importation of twenty Black workers to the British colony at Jamestown, Virginia in 1619. There was an event where 400 people lay down on the Edmund Pettus Bridge for 400 seconds to commemorate this anniversary. The lay-in was delayed by bad weather and a tornado warning but did take place before the larger crowd of thousands re-enacted the 1965 Bloody Sunday Voting Rights March. “We were beaten on the bridge in 1965 but we are lying down in 2019 and rising up to end voter suppression and lifting our voices and votes to change oppressive conditions for all people,” said Faya Rose Toure.
A highlight of the Jubilee was Sunday morning’s Unity Breakfast held at Wallace Community College in Selma. More than a thousand people attended to witness Hillary Clinton receive the International Unity Award, as well as to meet and listen to several Presidential candidates including Cory Booker, Bernie Sanders and Sherrod Brown. The breakfast also heard greetings from civil rights leaders like Rev. Jesse Jackson, Rev. William Barber, Charles Steele and other local leaders like newly elected State Senator Malika Sanders Fortier and Congresswomen Terri Sewell.
In presenting the International Unity Award to former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Hank Sanders said, “Secretary Clinton was elected President in 2016, but the election was stolen from her by the FBI reporting on her emails, the Russians hacking into the Democratic Party and sending false messages on social media. She deserves this award for standing up for women’s rights and human rights across the globe.”
Faya Rose Toure inducted Hillary Clinton into the Women’s Hall of Fame at the National Voting Rights Museum.
In her remarks, in accepting the awards, Clinton said, “ I am honored and humbled to receive these awards for my work for women, voting and human rights. But we have urgent unfinished work to protect fundamental rights, freedom of the press, and ending voter suppression. There is a crisis in this country and it is up to us to address it.”
“We must show up and vote every time in every election. We must di this step by step, year by year, door by door, to reclaim our democracy,” said Clinton.
In his remarks, Rev. Jesse Jackson of the Rainbow/PUSH Coalition said, “ I must express my thanks to Faya Rose and Hank Sanders for keeping this Bridge Crossing Jubilee going year after year and to the people of Selma, the birthplace of modern democracy in America. Since the 2018 elections, we have 55 Black Congress-people, 38 Latino and Latinas, 20 Asian Americans and over 100 women. All of these people, and many more state and local public officials, owe their positions to the voting rights struggle in Selma in 1965. But Selma is still suffering with a 40% poverty rate. We need to push the government for a ’rural reconstruction plan and project in Selma and surrounding counties of the Alabama Black Belt’, just like we rebuild Europe with the Marshall Plan after World War II,” said Rev. Jackson.

Newswire : Dancer/Actor Gregory Hines featured on new Forever Stamp

Gregory Hines postage stamp

   NEW YORK — The U.S. Postal Service celebrated the life and legacy of award winning entertainer Gregory Hines when it inducted him as the 42nd honoree in the Black Heritage Stamp series during a first-day-of-issue ceremony held recently on the Upper West Side of Manhattan.

   “Gregory Hines was an extraordinary artist in every sense of the word,” said Acting Chief Postal Inspector Gary Barksdale, who dedicated the stamp. “This Forever stamp pays tribute to his life and career as an actor, singer, and most importantly, as a performer whose unique style of tap dancing injected new artistry and excitement into a traditional American form.”

   Joining Barksdale to unveil the stamp were Maurice Hines, actor, dancer, choreographer and Hines’ brother; Daria Hines, actress, costume designer and Hines’ daughter; Savion Glover, actor, dancer and choreographer; Tony Waag, artistic director, American Tap Dance Foundation; Chloe and Maud Arnold, dancers and co-founders of the DC Tap Festival; and Jason Samuels Smith, award-winning jazz tap dancer and humanitarian.

   The stamp art features a photograph of Hines taken by Jack Mitchell in 1988, showing a smiling Hines on one knee in a red blazer and gray pants, with one foot raised to show the taps on the bottom of his shoe. Art director Derry Noyes designed the stamp.

    News of the stamp is being shared using the hashtags #GregoryHinesForever and #BlackHeritageStamps.

Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders, Julian Castro, Sherrod Brown and Cory Booker will all attend the Sunday Unity Breakfast Democratic Presidential candidates to attend Bridge Crossing Jubilee in Selma this weekend

SELMA, AL – “The Martin and Coretta King Unity Breakfast is power-packed this year. In fact, it is more power-packed than any breakfast we have ever had,” said former Alabama State Senator Hank Sanders. The Breakfast is this Sunday, March 3rd, at 7:30 a.m. on the campus of Wallace Community College Selma.
Dr. James Mitchell, President of Wallace Community College Selma, said: “It is great for this college to host the Annual Martin and Coretta King Unity Breakfast on our campus. It is great for the students, faculty, community, and all those connected with the college to see and hear from national and world-recognized leaders up close. This is always a powerful event, and this year promises to be even more powerful.”
“The world-renowned Hillary Clinton, the Democratic nominee for President in 2016 and who received three million more popular votes than her opponent, is being honored. She is known all over the world for her work as U.S. Secretary of State and her advancement of women’s rights. She will be inducted into the Women’s Hall of Fame at the National Voting Rights Museum and will receive the International Unity Award at the King Unity Breakfast,” said Sanders.
At this same breakfast, we will have U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders, who was Secretary Clinton’s chief competitor for the Democratic nomination in 2016 and is running again for President in 2020. We will also have three other 2020 presidential candidates speaking at the Martin and Coretta King Unity Breakfast: U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown of Ohio; former U.S. Secretary of Housing and Urban Development and Mayor of San Antonio Julian Castro; and U.S. Senator Cory Booker of New Jersey.
“Other speakers will include Martin Luther King, III; Reverend Jesse Jackson, founder of the Rainbow/PUSH Coalition; Dr. Charles Steele, President of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC); and Barbara Arnwine, President of the Transformative Justice Coalition. There will also be powerful singing performances by the original SNCC Freedom Singers and mutli-award winner and gospel legend Dottie Peoples,” said Sanders.
The 2019 Bridge Crossing Jubilee begins this Thursday, February 28th, at 7:00 p.m. with an Old Fashion Mass Meeting with Reverend Jamal Bryant, of Atlanta and formerly of Baltimore, at Tabernacle Baptist Church. There are 40-50 events during the Jubilee, most of which are free to the public, from Thursday, February 28th, through Sunday, March 3rd.
Friday includes many workshops, including an all day Education Summit starting at 8:00 AM at the Hank Sanders Technology Building at Wallace Community College; the 5:00 p.m. Mock Trial at the Dallas County Courthouse; children and youth activities; the annual A Public Conversation with Mark Thompson, host of Make It Plain on SiriusXM Channel 127 and MSNBC Contributor, and others; and other events. MSNBC will be in Selma from Friday through Sunday providing coverage.
Saturday morning are two work sessions at Wallace Community College Selma to kick off a national nonpartisan voting initiative, Lift Our Vote 2020. National Bridge Crossing Jubilee Coordinator Faya Toure said: “The Annual Bridge Crossing Jubilee Festival takes place Saturday and Sunday afternoon in downtown Selma with diverse musical performances, arts, food and so much more.
Saturday also includes the Hip Hop Youth Summit, the annual parade and more. The Annual Freedom Flame Awards Gala, which is filled with nationally and internationally renowned honorees, on Saturday at 7:00 p.m., culminates a day overflowing with events that include something for all, no matter your age, race, gender,

Presidential Candidates and Civil Rights leaders will also attend Secretary Hillary Clinton to participate in Selma’s 27th Annual Bridge Crossing Jubilee

Ashley Bell (3rd from Left) Small Business Administration Region 4 (8 Southeastern states) Administrator with Drum Major for Justice Award presented at Sunday’s Jimmie Lee Jackson Day program in Marion, Alabama. With him in the photo are his family and Albert Turner Jr. and other officials of the Perry County Civic League. The Jimmy Lee Jackson programs marks the beginning of the 54th Selma Bridge Crossing Commemorations.

Montgomery, AL – Secretary Hillary Clinton, the former United States First Lady, United States Senator and United States Secretary of State and the first woman to be a major party nominee for President, of the United States, is headlining the 2019 Selma Bridge Crossing Jubilee and announcing her support for the national initiative, Lift Our Vote 2020. The Jubilee begins Thursday, February 28, 2019 and continues through Monday, March 4th.Secretary Clinton will receive the International Unity Award and be inducted into the National Voting Rights Museum Women’s Hall of Fame. She will speak at the Martin and Coretta King Unity Breakfast on the Wallace Community College Selma campus at 7:30 a.m. on Sunday, March 3rd. She will also speak at the Historic Brown Chapel AME Church and participate in the Bloody Sunday March. Secretary Clinton has previously participated in the Bridge Crossing Jubilee and the March. She will address the Lift Our Vote 2020 Initiative at various events during the Jubilee.
Members of the Selma-to-Montgomery March Foundation and the Bridge Crossing Jubilee and other leaders made the announcement last week at a press conference in the State House in Montgomery. At a subsequent press conference this week in Selma, leaders of the Bridge Crossing Jubilee announced that Democratic Presidential nominees, Julian Castro, former Secretary of HUD and Mayor of San Antonio, Texas; and U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown of Ohio, will also be attending the Jubilee. Others will be released as they confirm in writing or as they announce their participation.
Attorney Faya Rose Toure said: “The Bridge Crossing Jubilee, commonly called Jubilee, has 40-50 events every year, including but not at limited to: an Old Fashioned Mass Meeting on Thursday night; children activities, workshops, The Jubilee Mock Trial and A Public Conversation on Friday; the Ministers and Elected Officials Breakfast, Voting Rights work sessions, other workshops, inductions into multiple halls of fames and the Freedom Flame Awards Banquet on Saturday; the Martin and Coretta King Unity Breakfast, church services, the Bloody Sunday Rally and March, commemoration of 400 years of slavery in what became the United States of America and the After The March Gospel Program on Sunday. These are just a few of the 40-50 annual events.”
Among other national leaders` who plan to attend the Bridge Crossing Jubilee are:
Civil Rights Leaders – Dr. William Barber, Co-chair of the Poor Peoples Campaign and leader of Repairer of the Breach; Reverend Jesse Jackson of Rainbow PUSH; and SCLC National President Charles Steele, Martin Luther King, III, and Rev. Bernice King.
Special National Participants – Susan Taylor, former the Editor of Essence Magazine; Hank Aaron, Baseball Great; Roland Martin, National Media Personality; Gwen Carr, mother of Eric Garner, who was killed in New York; and Reverend Mark Thompson, SiriusXM Satellite Radio Host and television personality. All these persons and more will appear at the Freedom Flame Awards.
Former State Senator Hank Sanders, who served in the Alabama Senate for 35 years, said: “This will be a great Jubilee with Secretary Hillary Clinton, the kickoff of the national Lift Our Vote 2020 Initiative, a number of presidential candidates coming to speak, and various other powerful speakers and so many events. It could be one of the best of the many great Jubilees. The Jubilee brings tens of thousands from around the country and across the world each year, and the 27th Anniversary will as well.”
Toure, the founder and coordinator of the Bridge Crossing Jubilee said, “We celebrate the victories in voting rights. We memorialize those who died in the struggle for voting rights. We prepare for the voting rights struggles ahead with the nonpartisan Lift Our Vote 2020 Initiative. The Jubilee covers so much and does so much.”
The Jubilee will be providing additional information about other speakers and events in the coming days. For more information contact: or call 334/526-2626.

No Action by Selma Police Multiple death threats made to Attorney Faya Rose Toure

Faya Rose Toure

Senator Hank Sanders of Selma held a press conference, Friday, January 25, 2019 to protest the inaction of the Selma police regarding repeated death threats to his wife Attorney Faya Rose Toure. Faya Rose is a nationally recognized civil rights and voting rights activist, who has organized the Bridge Crossing Jubilee in Selma for decades.
Faya Rose Toure, the 73-year-old grandmother, attorney at law and wife of former state Senator Hank Sanders, has received multiple and ongoing death threats.  Her husband, Hank Sanders, said at a Selma news conference today:  “These death threats started last summer.  A person started calling our Law Offices of Chestnut, Sanders and Sanders threatening “to kill Rose Sanders” (Faya Rose Toure).  These threats were reported to the Selma Police Department, and nothing was done. 
“Subsequently, the person started calling Z105.3 FM Radio Station on multiple occasions with threats to “kill Rose Sanders” (Faya Rose Toure).  These threats were reported to the Selma Police Department by a radio personality who heard them firsthand.  Attorney Faya Rose Toure also personally went to the Selma Police Chief.  The phone number of the person calling the radio station repeatedly with death threats for Faya Toure was also provided to the Selma Police.  Nothing has been done.
Hank Sanders said that his wife was also threatened by a white man in Orville, a Dallas County rural community south of Selma, on December 12, 2017 at the conclusion of the General Election to confirm Doug Jones for U. S. Senator. “Faya Rose was driving my car and checking the voting polls in Dallas County. This man ripped the ‘Vote or Die’ signs off the car, threw the signs on the ground, started hitting on the car and said someone is going to die tonight.”
This attack and threat was reported to Dallas County law enforcement authorities. A cell photo of the man was given to the proper authorities. “We recently learned that after a year and a half, the Dallas County Grand Jury indicted the man for the misdemeanor charge of harassment, ignoring the death threat,” said Hank Sanders.
Sanders added:  “Selma has the terrible distinction of being the most dangerous city in Alabama and the eighth most dangerous city in America.  In the last year there have been 16 murders in Selma, a city of fewer than 18,000.  Some young men who have also been threatened have told us that when they are threatened, they know that the police will not do anything about it.  They believe that is why too many take matters into their own hands, resulting in injuries and deaths.”
Sanders said:  “I am sick and tired of these death threats.  I am sick and tired of the Selma Police not doing anything about these death threats. “If something is not done, we will have to take some steps.”

400 Ways to Celebrate the Bicentennial

By Dave Helms –
January 24, 2019

MoonPie over Mobile New Year’s Eve Celebration. Photo courtesy of
Mobile’s MoonPie has dropped, New Year’s Eve tradition that it is, but there are still hundreds of other events planned in 225 cities and towns to mark Alabama’s bicentennial year.
Some of the events are quiet and humble; others will blare through the streets. One happens Feb. 23 on the state’s highest land, when bands and choirs will mark the release of a U.S. Postal Service Bicentennial stamp on Mount Cheaha. Shortly after that, the party moves to Constitution Village, where legislators crafted Alabama’s first constitution.
“From small towns to big cities, the bicentennial is going to have an enormous impact during 2019,” says Jay Lamar, executive director of the Alabama Bicentennial Commission.
On March 30, Tuscaloosa will hold The Bicentennial Bash, a celebration in the heart of downtown, featuring Alabama entertainers, food trucks, fireworks and a kids’ zone.
President James Monroe, who signed a congressional resolution in December 1819 admitting Alabama as the 22nd state, made a surprise visit to Alabama months earlier. There will be a re-enactment of Monroe’s visit to Huntsville on June 1 at Constitution Village.
From July 15-20, Huntsville and the U.S. Space and Rocket Center will host a celebration of the 50th anniversary of Alabama’s role in landing a man on the moon with a variety of events, including a July 16 attempt to break the Guinness World Record by launching 5,000 model rockets simultaneously at 8:32 a.m. — the exact time of the launch of Apollo 11 on July 16, 1969. In addition there will be a July 16 celebration dinner featuring Apollo astronauts and a July 20 concert.
From Sept. 11-15, there will be a Ride Alabama 200 “Civil Rights Ride.” In all there will be three designated cycling routes that will take riders to historic sites throughout the state, including this four-day Civil Rights Trail ride spanning 200 miles and more than 50 historic sites.
Dec. 13-15 will mark the culmination of the bicentennial in Montgomery with parades, fireworks, music and the dedication of Bicentennial Park.
A complete schedule of events is available at

Newswire: The National Park Foundation brings iconic civil rights site into the National Parks system

The home where Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. raised his family with Coretta Scott King will be made accessible to the public for the first time as part of Martin Luther King Jr. National Historical Park, a part of the National Park System. (Katie Bricker Photography for the National Park Foundation)

By PR Newswire
The National Park Foundation, National Park Service, and King family have announced that Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s home in the historic Vine City neighborhood of Atlanta, Georgia, will be made accessible to the public for the first time as part of Martin Luther King Jr. National Historical Park, a part of the National Park System.
The addition of the home helps to tell a more complete story about the King family’s experiences and contributions to our nation’s history. The National Park Foundation purchased the home, via private philanthropy, from the estate of Coretta Scott King on January 8, 2019, and immediately transferred it to the National Park Service. This follows the National Park Foundation’s purchase and transfer of Dr. King’s birth home in late 2018.
“African American history is U.S. history, and the family home of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Mrs. Coretta Scott King is a touchstone for us all to better understand our shared heritage,” said Will Shafroth, president of the National Park Foundation. “The acquisition of both Dr. King’s birth home and the family home he shared with Coretta Scott King and their children advances the National Park Foundation’s commitment to telling a more comprehensive American story through national parks. With greater access to Dr. King’s life and legacy, we can learn more about this country’s past and how his work continues to echo through time.”
“The National Park Service’s dedication to preserving historic properties is unmatched,” said Dr. Bernice A. King, daughter of Martin Luther King Jr., on behalf of the King family. “We are very pleased to have worked with the National Park Foundation to ensure that the family home that my siblings and I grew up in will be open and available to the public. My brothers and I are honored to have fulfilled my mother’s wish to allow future generations to know the story of our dad as a father, a husband, a minister, and a civil rights leader.”
“The addition of the homes where Dr. King was born and where he raised his family with Coretta Scott King provides the National Park Service sacred spaces to more fully tell the story of Dr. King’s life and legacy,” said National Park Service Deputy Director P. Daniel Smith. “Thanks to the efforts of the National Park Foundation and the generosity of the King family, these areas are now among the many civil rights sites that are preserved as part of the National Park System and will be accessible to the American people in perpetuity.”
This article originally appeared in the Charleston Chronicle.

Newswire : Donors attempt to save Bennett College by Friday’s deadline

By Stacy M. Brown, NNPA Newswire Correspondent

Historic building on Bennett College campus
A drive to help raise $5 million and save the accreditation of Bennett College received a boost this week as donations began to pour in ahead of the Friday, Feb. 1 deadline.
The Papa John’s Foundation and the Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation of Winston-Salem, each pledged a $500,000 donation to the school, and each said they will recruit additional donors.
The pledges increased the overall total raised to date to $2.7 million– a little more than half of the $5 million needed.
“Bennett College has an outstanding tradition of academic excellence for African American women,” said Dr. Benjamin F. Chavis, Jr., president and CEO of the National Newspaper Publishers Association, the trade organization that represents 215 African American-owned newspapers and media companies around the country with more than 21 million weekly subscribers.
“The college is funded by the Presbyterian Church and my great-great-great grandfather, the Rev. John Chavis, was the first ordained African American Presbyterian minister in the United States, and so I appeal to all Presbyterians, to all Episcopalians, to all Methodists, to all Baptists, and to those of all faiths, to help save Bennett College,” Chavis said.
The privately-owned four-year historically black liberal arts college for women that’s located in Greensboro, was founded in 1873 as a school to educate recently freed slaves and train both men and women as teachers. An integral part of its community since its founding in 1873, Bennett transitioned into a women’s school in 1926.
Reduced enrollment levels in recent years have sapped the college’s coffers, resulting in budget shortfalls and placing Bennett at risk of permanently losing its accreditation.
Students, alumni and others associated with Bennett have developed a websitewhere donations can be made and information about the college can be found.
Using the tagline and hashtag, “Stand with Bennett,” the group also presents evidence that Bennett has made significant gains in addressing its financial stability over the past two years.
Some of the significant strides made by Bennett to achieve sustainability include:
· Bennett generated a surplus of $461,038 and had no audit findings.
· Bennett was approved for a capital loan deferment over a six-year period with a financial benefit of nearly $9 million.
· Bennett has steadily increased its fundraising from $3.47 million to $4.25 million over a 3-year period.
· Bennett’s enrollment has been trending upward for 2 years from 409 in 2017 to 471 in 2018.
· The college’s retention rate is significantly up from 44 percent in the Fall of 2017 to 53 percent in the Fall of 2018.
· The average GPA of new freshwomen increased from 2.8 in 2017 to 3.2 in 2018.
· Bennett continues to support mission activities, and academic and student programs.
The Editorial Board of the college’s local newspaper, the Greensboro News & Record,said Bennett is raising the money as a show of good faith to an accrediting agency that the college is working, urgently, to address its fragile finances.
That agency – the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges – has threatened to revoke Bennett’s accreditation because of the college’s tenuous fiscal footing.
Bennett plans to appeal that ruling in mid-February and began the quick-strike campaign to help make its case, according to the Greensboro News & Record.
Without accreditation, Bennett would lose eligibility for federal grants and student loans and could be forced to close.
“We have made the case before for Bennett,” the editorial board wrote. “It is one of only two colleges for African-American women in the nation and it has been an integral part of this community since it was founded in 1873.”
To donate, visit

Newswire: Civil rights museum reoffers honor to Angela Davis

Angela Davis

By The Associated Press

        BIRMINGHAM — An Alabama civil rights museum reversed course after a public outcry and reinstated a human rights award to activist Angela Davis that it had previously rescinded, the organization announced Friday, January 25, 2019.
        The Birmingham Civil Rights Institute (BCRI) said in a statement that its board has voted to reaffirm Davis, a Birmingham native, as the recipient of the award and has invited her to personally receive it. The statement said the board has not heard if Davis will accept.
        “Dr. Angela Davis, a daughter of Birmingham, is highly regarded throughout the world as a human rights activist,” Institute President Andrea L. Taylor said in a statement.
        The Birmingham museum sparked protests and criticism earlier this month when it announced that it was abruptly canceling the award to Davis that was supposed to be given at a February gala.
        The board withdrew her award after a local Holocaust education group asked it to reconsider. Davis is an outspoken supporter of a movement criticizing Israel’s treatment of Palestinians.
        Davis, who turns 75 on Saturday, has spent decades fighting for civil rights. She was an active member of the Black Panther Party, Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee and Communist Party USA.
        Board members on Jan. 14 issued a public apology for the discord that resulted from its decision to rescind the award. They said there said there should have been more conversation with diverse points of view before making the decision.
        In Friday’s statement, the board said its decision to give Davis the award is “in keeping with its commitment to learning from its mistakes.”
        The award is called the Fred L. Shuttlesworth Human Rights Award. It is named for the late minister and prominent civil rights activist who led demonstrations in Birmingham and across the South.
        Civil rights and community groups were arranging an “alternative award celebration” for Ms. Davis in Birmingham on February 16, after the BCRI withdrew its award. Ms. Davis has not commented on whether she will accept the Museum’s apology and receive the award as originally planned.

Greene County celebrates Dr. King’s 90th birthday with March and programs

Rev. Michael Lavender, Pastor of St. John Baptist Church in Clinton, served as keynote speaker at the Freedom Unity Breakfast held Monday, January 21, 2019 in Eutaw commemorating Dr. Martin L. King’s birthday. Mr. Spiver Gordon presents him with a Certificate of Appreciation for his inspiring message
Rev. Millicent Owens (center) is shown with her husband, John Owens at the Godly Women of West Alabama Religious Rally in Eutaw, January 21, 2019. Mr. Spiver Gordon, organizer of the event presents Rev. Owens with Certificate of Appreciation for her inspiring message as guest speaker.

The Alabama Civil Rights Museum of Eutaw, Alabama sponsored several programs and a march this past week to honor the 90th birthday of civil and human rights leader, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
On Tuesday, January 15, 2019 the Museum held a program at New Peace Baptist Church for young people on the actual date of Dr. King’s birthday. Students from the 11th and 12th grades were bused to the program to learn more about the life of Dr. King and his connection to the development of the civil rights and voting rights struggle in Greene County.
On Sunday, January 20, 2019 there was an evening program at Pine Grove CME Church in Dollarhide to honor the life and legacy of Dr. King. Rev. Joe Webb of New Generation Church in Eutaw gave a stirring message. Rick Sexton of Dayton, Ohio gave a performance on his saxophone and also did a pantomime to a religious song. The Greene County Community Choir sang several rousing songs.
On Monday morning, January 21, 2019, the day of the national holiday for Dr. King, the Museum held its Annual Freedom Unity Breakfast with more than a hundred participants in very cold weather.
Rev. Michael Lavender, Pastor of St. John’s Baptist Church in Clinton gave the message, Rick Saxton played a musical tribute on his saxophone accompanied by a young guitar player from the Christ Temple Church of Eutaw, and many others gave greetings and remarks.
After the breakfast, a group marched from the Eutaw Activity Center to the William M. Branch Courthouse in Eutaw to symbolize that the struggle and direct action by people marching has not ended.
At the Courthouse, the Museum held a women’s program in honor of Dr. King. Rev. Millicent Owens of Greensboro gave the message and various groups sang, spoke and gave greetings.
At each of the programs, Spiver W. Gordon, President of the Alabama Civil Rights Museum recognized a list of “movement foot soldiers” that passed on in the previous two years. He also distributed certificates to ‘Godly Men and Women of West Alabama” at each of the programs. The Democrat will include more photos of the honorees in the coming weeks as space allows.