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Selma: Commemorating the 56th Anniversary of the Selma to Montgomery Marches; Stacey Abrams Leading the Way to Achieve John Lewis' Dream

Stacey Abrams during the 2018 Campaign of GA Governor

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Sunday March 7, 2021 will mark the 56th anniversary of the Selma to Montgomey, Alabama march, known as the “Bloody Sunday.”  In 1965  civil rights activists and marchers  were beaten by the police while trying to march to Montgomery. The annual event will, this year, take place during unprecedented times in the United States of America, due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Hence, the  annual Bridge Cross Jubilee in Selma, “Beyond the Bridge: People Power, Political Power, Economic Power,” will be virtual, instead of being attended by the usual thousands and thousands of people. 

According to organizers, among the events planned over the weekend is the speech by President Joe Biden during the Unity Breakfast on Sunday and the virtual crossing of the Edmund Pettus Bridge.

This is the first Selma Commemoration after the passing of  John Lewis, one of the Civil Rights icons and marchers. 

John Lewis was there during the 50th Anniversary commemoration in 2015, when President Obama addressed a crowd that included John Lewis, former US President George Bush, several Civil Rights Movement leaders, both Black and White,  a large number of American politicians, and, most importantly, the people whose lives were changed by the Salma Marches, forever.  With a powerfully poignant description of the mindset of those who mached 50 years ago in Selma, US President Barack Obama gave a memorable speech to commemorate the  50th Anniversary of the Selma to Montgomery Marches (See Selma: Commemorating the 50th Anniversary of the Selma to Montgomery Marches). 

After the passing of John Lewis, prominent voting rights activists have continued the work and the march.  One such a leader is Stacey Abrams, AfroAmerica Network Woman of 2018 (Stacey Yvonne Abrams: AfroAmerica Network Woman of Year 2018). While commenting on the death of the other Civil Rights leader, Vernon Jordan, who passed at 85 on Monday 3/2/2021,  Stacey Abrams tweeted: 

"Mourning the passage of my friend, the extraordinary Vernon Jordan. He battled the demons of voter suppression and racial degradation, winning more than he lost. He brought others w/him. And left a map so more could find their way. Love to his family. Travel on with God’s grace."

Stacey Abrams  founded two groups, the New Georgia Project and then Fair Fight, that have been central to a movement of voter registration in Georgia over the elections in the recent years. These include more than 800,000 new voters between 2018 and the 2020 election.  

With the drive led by Stacey Abrams, Georgia was able to impact the outcome of the 2020-2021 senatorial and preseidential elections (see here: Georgia US Senate Runoff Election: Jon Ossoff, Rev Raphael Warnock, and Stacey Abrams Make History)

With Stacey Abrams continuing the march started by late icons including Martin Luther King Jr, John Lewis, Vernon Jordan, and many more, the progress on the road to the voting rights will continue.

As former President Obama said: , "our march is not yet finished, but we’re getting closer... Because Selma shows us that America is not the project of any one person.  Because the single-most powerful word in our democracy is the word “We.”  “We The People.”  “We Shall Overcome.”  “Yes We Can.”    That word is owned by no one.  It belongs to everyone.  Oh, what a glorious task we are given, to continually try to improve this great nation of ours."

 

©2021 AfroAmerica Network


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