3 figures deserve honor

Published 6:04 pm Monday, August 3, 2009

In 2001, I drew up a petition to name the Selma High gymnasium after three coaches, James Booth, A.A. Sewell and Willie Maxey Jr.

On May 1, I released my first book, “Cooking In Selma During and After the Civil Rights Movement Cookbook,” with a bonus section of Selma black history.

In a section titled, “History Made,” I state the facts. In 1977, Coach Booth led Selma to its first 4A basketball state championship and set the bar on what it meant to be a student athlete.

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Coach A.A. Sewell was Booth’s assistant coach for years, and was instrumental in him being named head coach after Booth accepted the head job at George C. Wallace Community College.

Sewell was an outstanding coach and teacher for more than 30 years at Selma HighSchool. After his retirement, Coach Willie Maxey Jr. was named Selma’s new head coach and assistant principal. Coach Maxey is the most successful coach and human being in the Selma City Schools system. In more than 35 years, he led the Saints to the 1994 6A championship and has taken young teenage boys and girls and made them into outstanding adults.

That is why the Selma High School gymnasium should be named after all three of these men.

In 2003 and 2008, I went before the Selma City Schools Board. On Wednesday of last week, the Selma Times-Journal reported that attorney Terri Sewell, the daughter of Coach Sewell, and also a candidate for Congress, is sponsoring a free basketball clinic in Birmingham at the A.G. Gaston Boys and Girls Club.

On Aug. 15, a presentation will be made to name the Selma gym after Coach A.A. Sewell. No disrespect to Coach Sewell, but to name this gym, you must place all three names on this building: Booth, Sewell and Maxey. Ms. Terri Sewell, why not have a free basketball clinic for the children in your own hometown? Don’t ever forget where you come from.

In closing, to the Selma City Schools Board, please do not discriminate against Booth because he was white.