For MLK Day: Stories from Selma, January 16

Two Nights & a Lifetime with Dr. King

Next Monday will be devoted to the work and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

It was my good fortune to work under Dr. King in the great voting rights campaign he led with others in Selma, Alabama in 1965. Besides being historic for America, that experience was formative for me. It led me to jail, to a repudiation of war, and even to Quakers.

Monday evening at Pendle Hill, starting at 7:30 PM, as part of this remembrance, I’ll be talking about that experience, and you’re invited. Details are here, and it’s free.

In December 1964, I joined the staff of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) in Atlanta. Shortly thereafter I was sent by SCLC to Selma, Alabama, where I worked in the Voting Rights Movement organized by Dr. King and SNCC, the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee.

During that time I was arrested three times and spent one night in a jail cell with Dr. King, as told in my book, Eating Dr. King’s Dinner.

The Selma campaign resulted in passage of the Voting Rights Act, which changed politics in the South and across America for fifty years. That legacy has been under severe attack in recent years, and the struggle is continuing.

Remembering this history is part of renewing and extending it. In the photo above, that’s me at the far right (beardless!), behind Andrew Young, John Lewis and Hosea Williams. They were sharing details of the first attempt to march from Selma to Montgomery (led by Williams and Lewis) on what became known as “Bloody Sunday,” March 7, 1965.  

On this Monday I’ll describe two nights in Selma that were important for the movement and me personally. And we’ll talk about
how far we’ve come, and where we need to go.

I hope you can join in the evening.



2 thoughts on “For MLK Day: Stories from Selma, January 16”

  1. I won’t be able to be there (from Minnesota) but wish you well. One of my friends who I met through Campus Ministries when I was at Wm Penn and then again at Moorestown Friends School is Bernard Lafayette, Jr. His remembrances of that time were quite meaningful to me and we shared similarities with my experiences in “colonial” Jamaica and Kenya with racial issues.

  2. I’m glad you are doing this, and hope that those who can attend ask good questions and continue the work. Blessings from the other coast.

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