Countdown to Jubilee

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, February 28, 2006

The Selma times-journal

Jubilee 2006 is only one day away and the National Voting Rights Museum is buzzing.

Tarana Burke, an event coordinator for this year’s celebration, is busy at work in the museum’s office Tuesday afternoon, working the phones and typing a final line-up of this year’s musical performers.

“Sorry,” Burke says, apologizing for her multitasking behavior. “It’s crazy.”

Selma’s 41st annual celebration of the right to vote, Jubilee festivities begin Thursday with a welcome reception at 5:30 p.m. at the Slavery and Civil War Museum.

Sponsored by the National Voting Rights Museum and the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, Jubilee is expected to draw 5,000 to 10,000 people this weekend, Burke said.

Among those thousands are a few notable names.

SCLC President and CEO Charles Steele will be the grandmaster of the Jubilee parade Saturday at 9 a.m., starting at Selma High School. Later that evening, civil rights activist and former Atlanta mayor Andrew Young will be honored at a black tie Freedom Flame Awards Dinner at 7:30 p.m. at the Selma Convention Center. Admission is $50.

Burke confirmed the Rev. Jesse Jackson and the Rev. Joseph Lowery are scheduled speak at Brown Chapel A.M.E. Church Sunday prior to the bridge crossing re-enactment commemorating Bloody Sunday.

In the entertainment realm, renowned gospel artist and Soul Train Award nominee Dottie Peoples and blues singers Willie King, Steve Perry and local blues son Chuck Strong are scheduled to perform at the Jubilee Festival. Tickets are $10 in advance, $15 at the gate. Call 418-0800 for more information.

Burke said Jubilee exceeds far beyond Selma lines. She stressed locals and visitors should “commemorate and celebrate” the known and unknown stories of the voting rights struggle.

“Selma has so much history that’s important to the world,” Burke said.

Below is a list of this weekend’s scheduled events:

Thursday, March 2

Welcome Reception at the Slavery and Civil War Museum; 1410 Water Avenue; 5:30- 7 p.m.

Mass Meeting at Tabernacle Baptist Church; 1431 Broad Street; Key Speaker: The Rev. C.T. Vivian; 7 – 9 p.m.

Friday, March 3

Invisible Giants Conference 9 a.m. – 2 p.m.; $5 admission

Children’s Sojourn at the Slavery and Civil War Museum; 1410 Water Avenue; 9 a.m. – 2 p.m.; $5 admission

Induction: Women’s Hall of Fame at the National Voting Rights Museum; 1012 Water Avenue; 3- 3:30 p.m.

Stepping Out on the Vote Stepshow/Miss Jubilee Pageant at School of Discovery’s Pickard Auditorium; 400 Washington Street; 7- 9 p.m. $5 admission

Mock Trial at the Dallas County Courthouse (2nd Floor Court Room); 7:30 p.m. – 9 p.m.

Saturday, March 4

Remembering the Martyrs of the Movement on the Edmund Pettus Bridge; 8:30 – 9 a.m.

Jubilee Parade beginning at Selma High School; 2180 Broad Street; 9 – 10:30 a.m.

Drum Line Battle of the Bands at the Slavery and Civil War Museum; 10:45 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.

Jubilee Festival on Water Avenue; 11 a.m. – 6:30 p.m.

An Intergenerational Conversation at the Selma Convention Center – 211 Washington Street; 2- 6 p.m.

Fruit of the Movement: Tribute and Reception for Public Officials at the Slavery and Civil War Museum; 6- 7 p.m.

Freedom Flame Awards Dinner with special guest honoree Andrew Young at the Selma Convention Center; 7:30 p.m. to 10 p.m.; $50 admission – a black tie affair

Sunday, March 5

Delivered by the Almighty Hand of God – Sunrise Unity Service at the School of Discovery from 6 a.m. to 8 a.m.

Wiping the Tears for Unsung Sheroes of the Movement at the Selma Convention Center; 8:45 a.m. – 10 a.m.; $25 admission – white attire preferred

Congressional Tour of the National Voting Rights Museum – Congressman John Lewis and Congressional Delegation (by invitation only); National Voting Rights Museum; 9:30 – 10:30 a.m.

Guest speakers at various church services; 11 a.m. – 1 p.m.

Pre-March Rally at Brown Chapel A.M.E. Church – 410 Martin Luther King Street; 2- 2:30 p.m.

Bridge Crossing Re-enactment Commemorating Bloody Sunday; Edmund Pettus Bridge; 2:30 – 3 p.m.

From the Edmund Pettus to the Crescent City Bridge – a caravan in protest of the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina and in support of the human rights of victims; 4 p.m.