Foot soldiers reunite to share stories, motivate others

Published 7:42 pm Saturday, March 3, 2018

By Adam Dodson | The Selma Times-Journal

Activists from the Alabama Civil Rights Movement met at R.B. Hudson Middle School for their annual Jubilee Foot Soldiers Breakfast honoring the legacies of those who made an impact during the fight for equal rights.

This year’s breakfast featured uplifting music and an assortment of food and drink, with foot soldiers from all over the state sharing stories about their journey on the path for civil rights. Commemorating the 53rd anniversary of Bloody Sunday, participants young and old gathered to show their strength in numbers.

Email newsletter signup

Each of their stories tells a different tale of the struggle to overcome racism during the Jim Crow Era, and reminisce over the importance of attending Jubilee to remember those who made a lasting impact.

Foot solider Vera Booker narrated her own tale of experiencing racism, speaking about the grim night in 1965 when an African-American man, Jimmie Lee Jackson, was brought to Good Samaritan Hospital, where she worked as a nurse, after being shot by Alabama State Troopers.

That unjustified slaying was used as one of the many catalysts towards the decision to march from Selma to Montgomery in non-violent protest.

Booker remembers the night like it was yesterday, reminiscing on the fateful night and stressing the importance she puts on the rights she has today.

“I will never forget that. He was shot by the Alabama State Troopers and brought into me during the 7-11 (p.m.) shift,” Booker said. “That was a tough time. But now, I never miss voting. Since the day I have been able to do it, I have never missed a chance to vote.”

The foot soldiers have stories that date back to the time they were children, such as Deanna Moulton and Linda Lowery, who were present on Bloody Sunday, and also jailed at the age of 14. Lowery has since written a book about her experiences as a child growing up during the civil rights movement. For Moulton, Bloody Sunday was not the first or last time she witnessed racist acts, watching a family member shot and killed in a car during her youth as well.

However, Moulton takes pride in where she is today, and how important Selma is in her life.

“I am grateful for the experience, to have been able to endure all the tests and trials in my life. I am very proud to be from Selma,” Moulton said. “This weekend is a reminder to rekindle that flame and keep moving forward.”

The breakfast provided an opportunity for long-lost friends, brothers and sisters of the Civil Rights Movement to reconnect and talk about their progress, and where to go from here. While the event was filled with joy, the also was filled with remembrance of those lost along the way.