Lowery book wins award

Published 10:53 pm Tuesday, August 2, 2016

By Samantha Bolden | The Selma Times-Journal

Selma native Lynda Blackmon Lowery has won an award for her book that details turning 15 years old while participating in the Selma to Montgomery march of 1965.

Lowery was awarded the 2016 Jane Addams Children’s Book Award for her memoir, “Turning 15 on the Road to Freedom.”

“It’s a great honor to win the award because the book teaches about tolerance and freedom, and it feels fantastic. I’m very humble,” Lowrey said.

The book tells the story of a 15-year-old Lowery who was jailed nine days before her 15th birthday fighting for the rights of African-Americans alongside Martin Luther King, Jr.

She was the youngest person to complete the 54-mile voting rights march of 1965, turning 15 on March 22, 1965 — two days into the three day trip.

The Jane Addams Children’s Book Awards recognizes books that promotes the cause of peace, social justice, world community, and equality for all sexes and races as well as meeting conventional standards for excellence.

Lowery, who is now 66, currently travels across the country as a motivational speaker informing youth that anything is possible and “they can make a difference.”

She said that Dr. King spoke three words that changed her life.

“Dr. King said to a church of people to make a difference someday with ‘steady, loving confrontation,’” Lowrey said. “So I let children know that they can make a difference.”

Lowrey said that the death of her mother played a huge factor in her participating in the march. She is thankful for the experiences the book has brought her.

Lowery, who still lives in Selma, says that even today, you have the ability to change something in your life.

To purchase a copy of the book, visit amazon.com.