Jubilee ready to go

Published 12:00 am Monday, February 14, 2005

Organizers of the 40th Annual Bridge Crossing Jubilee made their first public announcement on Friday about the upcoming events set to take place during the weekend of March 4-6.

Jubilee director Sam Walker said the first event he wants to highlight is the Freedom Flame Awards banquet at 7 p.m. on March 5 Wallace Community College Selma.

The awards banquet will pay tribute to civic, arts and community leaders who represent the positive outcome of the Civil Rights struggle.

Email newsletter signup

Local attorney Faya Rose Toure, Jubilee volunteer, said people should expect to see many famous faces at the banquet.

Included among the list of confirmed honorees is singer/actor/producer Harry Belafonte.

“A lot of people know Harry Belafonte for his music and acting, but very few people know he was an activist,” Toure said. “There were many stars who came to Selma during the Voting Rights Movement join the marches. These famous people would use their status to bring attention to the movement. We want to honor those stars.”

Belafonte is one of three artists, along with Sean “Puffy” Combs and singer Bernice Johnson Reagan, who are recipients of the Spotlight of the Flame award.

Married couples, including Montgomery activist Johnnie Carr and her husband, will receive the Beauty of the Flame: Couple of the Struggle award.

Toure said two organizations, The 21st Century Foundation and the Coca-Cola Foundation, will receive the Fuelers of the Flame: Philanthropy for the Struggle award.

Activists Diane Nash and Claudette Colvin, along with locals Amelia Boynton and F.D. Reese, will receive the Igniters of the Flame: Pioneers in the Movement award.

Organizer Malika Sanders said the Igniters award recipients were chosen because they became involved in the Movement at a young age.

“Claudette, at 15, refused to give up her seat on a Montgomery bus before Rosa Parks. As a college student in Nashville, Diane Nash, former wife of Rev. (James) Bevel, took up a courage cause to bring back the Freedom Riders. She organized and took risks to make sure bus stations were integrated,” Sanders said. “We need to show our young people that when they are facing obstacles in the community, they should say ‘I’m going to get involved”.

Toure said the banquet is also serving as a fundraising effort for the Bridge Crossing Jubilee.

“We are operating with little to no money and a lot of help from volunteers,” Toure said.

Tickets for the banquet are $50 and can be purchase d at the door or at the National Voting Rights Museum and Institute on Water Avenue.

Walker said other Jubilee events will be announced later this week.