Weekend in Selma should be one to remember

Published 10:58 pm Friday, January 16, 2015

This weekend is sure to be an exciting one here in Selma, and it’s not just because of the many celebrities expected to arrive in town.

It’ll kick off Saturday with a question-and-answer session held at the Selma High School auditorium for students and teachers that will feature “Selma” the movie filmmakers and cast and be moderated by Congresswoman Terri Sewell.

The fun will continue Sunday as Director Ava DuVernay, actor David Oyelowo artist Common, film producers Oprah Winfrey, Dede Gardner and Jeremy Kleiner participate in a commemorative march Sunday at 4:45 p.m. meant to pay respect to Dr. Martin Luther King’s contributions in the Civil Rights Movement.

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Like Mayor George Evans, I’m honored that Paramount Pictures and the cast have put Selma to the forefront of the nation again during this upcoming MLK weekend.

The march follows what I expect to be a powerful Sunday prayer vigil at 4:20 p.m. Tabernacle Baptist Church’s the Rev. Dion Culliver and Brown Chapel AME Chapel’s the Rev. Leodis Strong will commemorate the sacrifices people made for equal voting rights with a prayer.

The celebration will conclude with a red carpet event at the Walton Theater, where Alabama state officials and the film’s local cast and crew will view the movie. Hosted by Paramount Pictures, there will be two free showings of “Selma” at the Walton Theater starting Monday at 12:30 p.m. and 3 p.m.

Tickets will be available on a first-come, first-serve basis at the box office.

These events are sure to attract plenty from outside of the area and practically everyone in Selma. I can hardly wait. This weekend should remind us of the importance of unity. The historic accomplishments we’ll reflect on as we take part in these breathtaking occasions would not have been made possible without people coming together as one. That precious message is one that we should not forget as we move forward. Selma has come a long way since 1965, but we still face tough issues that require us to put aside our differences and work together.

Hundreds were brutally beaten for simply standing up for a voting right they deserved during Bloody Sunday and yet thousands were willing to march to Montgomery the second time around.

The amount of courage and determination they showed with that one action should be enough to motivate us to commit to whatever challenges we may find difficult.