Oprah Winfrey will feature Selma

Published 12:00 am Thursday, November 29, 2007


A child on a bridge at 6:30 a.m. might raise a few eyebrows.

But a child on a bridge early in the morning with a film crew – that’s something to talk about.

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Oprah Winfrey’s Harpo Productions filmed a portion of a show Tuesday morning in Selma on the Edmund Pettus Bridge. The crew is going all over the nation filming children as they say a line from the “I Have a Dream” speech given by the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. at the March on Washington in 1963.

The crew, led by senior field producer Janet Lee of Harpo Productions, had scouted areas for a couple of days, according to Edie Jones, the film industry liaison for Selma.

The Chicago-based production company met briefly with Selma Mayor James Perkins Jr. to request closing one lane of the bridge, so they could photograph the segment.

Perkins didn’t want to talk specifics about the visit. He wasn’t sure if the production company wanted its plans known.

Jones said she had hoped a child from Selma would have been used in the segment featuring the historic bridge, but the child from Montgomery selected by the film crew did well, she added.

After spending a couple of hours in Selma, the film crew packed up and went over to Pinchona Farms, the Rosa Parks Museum, Dexter Avenue Baptist Church, Chris’ Famous Hot Dogs and the Civil Rights Memorial in Montgomery.

Area schools suggested children who recited lines from the speech after being recommended by their teachers. Lee said all of the child ranged in age from 9 to 11 years old and were selected because they were charismatic and good students.

“We did not want them to be actors,” the field producer said. “We wanted them to be completely natural and innocent.”