Jackson speaks at Brown

Published 12:00 am Monday, March 8, 2004

It was a homecoming of sorts for the Rev. Jesse Jackson Sunday morning as he stood in the pulpit of Historic Brown Chapel AME Church and readied for the Jubilee Bridge Crossing that afternoon.

Jackson preached to a gathering of students, friends and visitors in town for the celebration.

The President and Founder of the Rainbow/Push Coalition recognized local politicians in attendance as well as students from as far away as Minnesota.

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He reflected on the days that led up to the Bloody Sunday march and the results that followed.

Jackson spent a good portion of his speech encouraging the people in Brown to use the right that was so dearly won 39 years ago.

Jackson then asked those in the crowd not registered to vote to stand and he had aides available to sign them up.

Jackson focused on some of the problems facing Selma and the nation.

He criticized President George Bush and those responsible for the war in Iraq. He said that the issue keeping America back is not the gap between black and white, it’s the gap between the rich and the poor.

He also stumped for some local and state candidates, including Michael Jackson who is running for district attorney.

The Rev. Jackson said that Alabama does not have a single black district attorney.

After the morning church service, Jackson joined the crowd and marched across the Edmund Pettus Bridge and helped honor Senator John Lewis, whose monument was unveiled after the march.

Selma high student Donald Steele was on hand for both King’s speech and the march.

Jackson said coming back to Selma and remembering people like Steele’s family is an important part of Jubilee.

On of the men Jackson was talking about is James Armstrong.

Carrying the same flag Hosea Williams’ gave him before the Bloody Sunday March, Armstrong said he’s taken it to every march since.