Selma Jubilee celebration was life-changing

Published 8:38 pm Friday, March 14, 2014

The annual Bridge Crossing Jubilee celebration will surely be near the very top of my list of great experiences my career in journalism will allow me to encounter.

As I maneuvered through the crowds on Water Avenue, I took the time to admire the exciting atmosphere of laughter, excitement, fun and history that’s often packaged with the Selma Jubilee. It put a smile on my face to see kids of all ages come together to take part in such an important commemoration of Blood Sunday.

I can honestly say that Selma was the most alive I’ve ever seen it this past weekend.

While most would consider marching across the Edmund Pettus Bridge as the most interesting and momentous part of his or her Jubilee experience, I found the King Unity Breakfast to be the most life-changing event.

The Wallace State Community College-Selma gymnasium was filled with an overwhelming spirit of power Sunday as Rev. Jesse Jackson, the founder and president of the Rainbow People United to Save Humanity Coalition, Dr. William Barber, a National Association for the Advancement of Colored People board member, and Academy Award Winning actor Louis Gossett Jr., the founder of the Eracism Foundation spoke at the King Breakfast, along with local elected officials.

It’s always a pleasure to read about the great historians that have contributed to American history, but it is much more great to meet those amazing people face to face.

Often times, our generation makes the mistake as perceiving celebrities who have not made vital contributions to this world. Sadly, many of us would get more excited about seeing reality-star Kim Kardashian than they would be about seeing someone as influential as Martin Luther King, III, the oldest son of civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., who also spoke at the King Unity Breakfast.

While interviewing people about their time at the annual Bridge Crossing Jubilee Celebration Saturday, I had the great chance to speak with people that were actually a part of it.

Classie Bolber, from Dothan, told me she has attended every Jubilee ever since it began, because as one of the Blood Sunday marchers, she refuses to deny such a grand opportunity to honor that historical march.

It was so intriguing to hear her speak about the pleasure of being able to walk across the Edmund Pettus Bridge 49 years later with her fear years ago being replaced with pure joy as she commemorates the march with thousands of others.

“It was just so much fear everywhere, something like a nightmare,” Bolber said as she described her Bloody Sunday experience. “It’s such a good feeling to look at the law enforcement that was against us and beating us, now their protecting us.”

The fact that this year’s Bridge Crossing Jubilee Celebration was such an incredible time makes be highly anticipate the Selma Jubilee meant to recognize the 50th anniversary of Bloody Sunday.

I’ve heard that it will attract even more remarkable individuals. I can hardly wait to be apart of Selma’s next greatest celebration.