Gills honored at WCCS

Published 12:00 am Friday, February 2, 2007


More than 350 students from Wallace Community College Selma, Clark Elementary, Selma High School Early College, Selma Middle School and Francis Marion High School, along with a host of family and friends, were on hand to honor the accomplishments of Emmy Award-winning photojournalist William Alonz Gill.

The WCCS Educational and Cultural Affairs Department held its Black History Month Celebration on Thursday in the Library/Gymnasium.

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A native of Selma, Gill has been a photojournalist for more than 24 years. Gill received national exposure on the Larry King Show in 1994.

He was brutally assaulted while covering Randolph County High School fire in Wedowee, Ala. The assault was captured by him on camera.

Mayor James Perkins Jr. proclaimed Feb. 1, 2007, as &8220;William Alonz Gill Day&8221; during the celebration.

Gill showed the audience his documentary &8220;MLK: The Forgotten Film,&8221; and stressed the importance of self-worth to the students.

The film shared with the nation the only color footage of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. during the Selma to Montgomery March in 1965.

The footage was originally shot by Lawrence Huggins, a former educator and retired postal worker in Selma. Huggins was also on hand for the program, along with several other teachers from the 1965 Civil Rights movement.

Gill concluded his presentation by challenging the students to &8220;always be respectful to yourself and others.&8221;

A graduate of Alabama A&M University in Huntsville, Gill is a photojournalist with WVTM in Birmingham.