50th anniversary of “Greene County Freedom Day – July 29, 1969” coming July 27 and 28, 2019

Greene County Candidates L to R: front row Vassie Knott, Levi Morrow back row-Hines, Means, Burton and William Branch, County Co- Chairman. ( Posey is not in the picture.)

Spiver Gordon, President of the Alabama Civil Rights Museum Movement, announced that there will be a two-day program on July 27 and 28, 2019 to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the special election on July 29, 1969, which elected Black officials to the Greene County Commission and School Board.
“This is a two day celebration of 50 years of voting rights, democracy, justice and unity for all people in Greene County, Alabama. We invite everyone, Black and White, Hispanics, Asians and Native peoples from Greene County and around the state and nation to attend. This is a celebration of what is good and positive in Greene County.
“We need and challenge all community and business leaders – Black and White – to attend. This is an opportunity to honor grassroots community leaders who had the courage to believe they could change and make this community a better place to live, work and worship.

We have made a half century of progress but with full participation and unity the next fifty years will be easier and more productive for all,” said Gordon.
On Saturday, July 27, 2019 from 9:00 AM to Noon, three historic monuments will be unveiled and dedicated in Eutaw:
• the first will be at Carver School, now the Robert H. Cook Community Center, to honor students who boycotted schools in 1965 and started the civil rights and voting rights struggles and movement in Greene County.

• the second monument will be in front of the home of Anne Thomas and Rosie Carpenter, on Highway 14, where strategy sessions were held for the civil rights movement from the 1960’s into the 1990’s.

• the third monument will be placed at the Robert Brown Middle School, formerly Greene County High School to honor Black students who integrated the public schools of Greene County in the 1960’s and early 1970’s.
“We hope these monuments will stand for a long time and be a beacon of light for our children and our children’s children, as they travel to and through Greene County. These monuments show the ‘peoples history of our county’ and many names of those living and deceased are on these markers,” said Lester Cotton, 2nd Vice President of the Movement Museum.
On Saturday, July 27, 2019 at 6:00 PM, at the Eutaw Activity Center, there will be a banquet honoring the foot soldiers who participated in the civil rights and voting rights movement of the 1960’s in Greene County. Among the living leaders who participated in the struggle, who have agreed to attend are: Rosie Carpenter (who now lives in Bowie, Maryland), Bill Edwards (Portland, OR), Atty. Sheryl Cashin (daughter of John Cashin from Washington, D. C.) Fred Taylor, Tyrone Brooks, and Dexter Wimbush (Georgia), Wendell H. Paris (Jackson, MS), Judge John England, Hank Sanders, Sen. Bobby Singleton and many other dignitaries.
On Sunday July 28, 2019, at 4:00 PM there will be a Freedom Rally, honoring the fallen Black political leaders of Greene County, at the William M. Branch Courthouse in Eutaw. The rally will be followed by a fish-fry and watermelon eating fellowship meeting on the grounds of the old Courthouse in Eutaw.
For more information and to support the Freedom Day 50th anniversary celebration, contact: Spiver Gordon, Alabama Civil Rights Museum Movement, Inc., P. O. Box 385, Eutaw, Alabama 35462; phone 205-372-3446;
email: spiverwgordon@hotmail.com.

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.”

ANSA endorses Democratic ticket for Nov.6 General Election



Walt Maddox, Dr. Will Boyd, Joe Siegelman, Heather Milam, Bob Vance

Senator Hank Sanders receives plaque for lifetime service to ANSC. L to R: Shelly Fearson, Sen. Vivian Figures, Robert Avery,  Dr. Roberta Watts, Rev. Robert Turner, Hank Sanders, John Zippert and Dr. Carol P. Zippert.

Saturday’s 32nd. Annual Fall Endorsement Convention in Montgomery, Alabama, the Alabama New South Alliance (ANSA) the political sister organization to the Alabama New South Coalition (ANSC) endorsed the Democratic candidates running for statewide office. The members of the ANSA heard from the candidates and were able to ask questions before the endorsements were made. ANSA endorsed Walt Maddox, current Mayor of Tuscaloosa for Governor. Maddox said, “At the first hour of the first day I am in office, I will extend Medicaid coverage to 300,000 working people in this state who need insurance coverage. This will help these people to gain needed health care but it will also expand our economy and assist rural hospitals to remain in operation. Maddox said he would work for an “Education Lottery to provide revenues for education, scholarships for college and post-secondary education, more pre-k slots and general improvement in the state’s economy. ” Maddox also supported criminal justice reforms including review of sentences on death row leading to commutations for those deserving that consideration. Maddox said my cabinet and appointments would reflect the population and gender make-up of the state When asked why Kay Ivey refused to debate him, Maddox said, “Well, I guess if you have served in state government for more than thirty years, the last eight years in the top positions, without making much progress on Alabama’s problems, like she has, I guess you also would be reluctant to debate.” ANSA endorsed Rev. Will Boyd of Florence for Lieutenant Governor. Boyd who is African-American says, “ I support Medicaid expansion and will help Maddox get his programs through the Alabama Legislature. The Lt. Governor appoints 400 people to 167 different boards and positions. I will be fair and make sure Black people are included in these positions and other jobs that I am involved in creating.” ANSA endorsed Joseph Siegelman for Attorney General. Siegelman said his opponent, Steve Marshall, “ was trying to prosecute people in Black Belt counties for voter fraud while at the same time allowing people in white counties, who did the same things, to not face investigation or prosecution. ANSA also endorsed Robert Vance for Chief Justice of the Alabama Supreme Court and Donna Smalley for Alabama Supreme Court, Place 4. Also endorsed were Heather Milan for Secretary of State and Cara McClure (Place 1) and Kari Powell for Place 2 on the Alabama Public Service Commission, which oversees utility rates and procedures in the state. Part of the meeting, were a series of presentations on how best to register, educate and mobilize voters including the importance of voter turnout in the Black Belt areas and inner cities. The importance of millennial and new voters was also stressed including helping the previously incarcerated to regain their voting rights. Former Governor Don Siegelman was the luncheon speaker and he discussed his unfair prosecution and time in Federal penitentiary for trying to serve people in Alabama. As part of the luncheon, Senator Hank Sanders, a founder of ANSC, was honored for a lifetime of service and achievement to ANSC, the Alabama Legislature, from which he is retiring at the end of the year, and to the people of the state.

Celebration of Hank Sanders’ 1,500th Senate Sketches column held in Selma


Shown above: Dr. Carol P. Zippert and John Zippert Co-Publishers of Greene County Democrat with Senator Hank Sanders displaying the 1st and 1,500th  Senate Sketches

On Saturday March 19, 2016 more than a hundred community leaders from around the state of Alabama convened at the Bridge Crossing Theater in Selma to celebrate the writing and publication of the 1,500th Senate Sketches column written by State Senator Hank Sanders.
Senator Sanders has been writing sketches for fifteen hundred consecutive weeks starting on April 29, 1987. The Greene County Democrat, weekly newspaper published on Wednesdays in Eutaw, Alabama, has printed each Senate Sketches column, in its entirety since the beginning 29 years ago. Each Sketches column has a prologue section which deals with an issue in the Legislature, a community concern, a trip that the Senator took, events in his life and family and other timely and meaningful topics. There is also a “Daily Diary” section, which lists events and people that Senator Sanders has interacted with during the past week. Each column ends with an “Epilogue”, which consists of a short reminder of the lessons learned from the prologue and daily diary sections.
Senate Sketches is now also circulated on the Internet, published in other newspapers, read on the radio and distributed in other ways but the Greene County Democrat remains the only publication that has printed all 1,500 columns in full.
The celebration included a reading by a number of people of their favorite Sketches column, special presentations including songs, plaques, poems and comments, and a response by Senator Sanders himself.
Scott Douglas of the Greater Birmingham Ministries read Sketches # 1437, “An Open Letter to Mr. Charles Barkley”. In this column, Sanders takes the basketball legend to task for statements he made that slavery was not very bad for Black people and its impact is exaggerated.
Alphonzo Morton III, a science teacher at Greene County High School and adult adviser to the Twenty-first Century Youth Leadership Movement, read Sketches # 905 “Men and Boys” which speaks to the differences, responsibilities and obligations of men as contrasted to boys.
Sharon Wheeler and her mother, Carolyn Wheeler commented on Sketches #1323 which was a memorial to Kirk Wheeler their father and husband. Sanders delivered these remarks at Wheeler’s funeral.
Faya Rose Toure (Sanders) did a rap about Senate Sketches, sang some songs, helped some community people to put on a skit as part of the program. Faya Rose was instrumental in planning the celebratory program.
Carol P. Zippert, Co-Publisher of the Greene County Democrat was Mistress of Ceremonies and John Zippert, Co-Publisher of the Democrat said, “we are pleased and proud to be friends of Senator Sanders and to have published every word of every Senate Sketches column for three decades. I especially enjoy the Daily Diary section which lists the many activities that Senator Sanders is involved in each week.”
Dave White, a reporter formerly with the Birmingham News praised Sketches, “for its writing and using the newspaper column format to provide very clear ideas in a very clear writing style. He also indicated the great discipline, consistency and perseverance to write a weekly newspaper column for three decades.
State Senator Vivian Figures of Mobile presented Senator Sanders with a plaque from his Alabama Senate colleagues recognizing the achievement of 1,500 columns. Alabama New South Coalition and other groups presented plaques and acknowledgements to the Senator.
In his remarks at the conclusion of the program Senator Sanders thanked the many people who help him type, proof read and distribute the Senate Sketches column each week. He said he was thankful and impressed at hearing people read the words of their favorite column to him. “It was a great and powerful experience,” he said.
The groups in Selma, including the National Voting Rights Museum, Center for Non-Violence, Truth and Reconciliation and the Bridge Crossing Jubilee, compiled a book of the best-loved Senate Sketches, which they sold for $20.00 at the program. If you are interested in purchasing a book, contact the Center for Non-Violence, 8 Mulberry Road, Selma, AL 36703; phone 334/526-4533. Proceeds will go to support on-going community work in Selma and the Alabama Black Belt.