Dr. Bernard Lafayette and wife at Mass Meeting
The City of Selma, Historic Tabernacle Baptist Church in Selma and the Selma Center for Non-violence, Truth and Reconciliation sponsored Dr. Bernard Lafayette Jr. Day on Saturday, May 14, 2022 in Selma. The day was to honor the civil rights and voting rights pioneer who has dedicated his life to promoting non-violence as a means toward social, political and economic justice for oppressed people.
The day in Selma included a voting rights march and parade; voting rights festival; re-enactment of the first Mass Meeting of the Civil Rights era at Tabernacle Baptist Church and a
Voting Rights banquet at the Jemison-Owens Gymnasium of Selma University. The theme of the day was “Voting Rights and Me”.
Dr. Bernard Lafayette, Jr. helped to lay the foundation for himself, Dr. M. L. King, Jr. and other leaders and footsoldiers of the 1960s Voting Rights Movement in Selma, AL. Because of him Selma’s underground voting rights movement from the 1920’s became publicly visible upon the death of decades-long activist Mr. S W Boynton.
Dr. Lafayette and Mrs. Amelia Boynton organized the first mass meeting/memorial service of the Voting Rights Movement at Tabernacle Baptist Church as daringly invited by then pastor, Dr. Louis Lloyd Anderson. The date was May 14, 1963. Dr. Lafayette, a freedom rider and co-founder of SNCC, organized the youth of Selma and surrounding areas from 1963 to 1965 that led to “Bloody Sunday,” “Turn-Around-Tuesday” and the “Selma to Montgomery March” which brought about the Voting Rights Act of 1965.
Dr. Lafayette is now 81 years old; yet he continues to train all peoples in Kingian nonviolence, at the Selma Center for Non-violence, Truth and Reconciliation. This humble, gentle giant deserves overdue thanks for his lifetime of sacrifices for civil rights.
Please contact Dr. Verdell Lett Dawson@ 334 526-0697 or Ainka Jackson at the Selma Center for Non-violence, http://www.selmacenterfornonviolence.org, 334-526-4539 for further information.