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Plenty of potential exists in Selma, Dallas County

Three months ago, I was offered the News Editor position at The Selma Times-Journal.

I quickly accepted the job and I’ve never looked back.

I felt the timing was right to return to my home state and be near family 75 miles away in Tuscaloosa.  

I’ve never worked professionally in Alabama. That was a goal I set before attending Stillman College in 1988.

Despite the number of drug arrests and tragic shootings since my arrival, I enjoy living in Selma and Dallas County.

A big reason for that is the history in this area, both past and present.

It all starts with the historic Selma to Montgomery March in 1965, which eventually led to the Voting Rights Act of 1965.

I applaud the National Voting Rights Museum and Institute for its contest on registering new voters to honor the legislation that gave African-American equal voting rights. It’s a great way to celebrate the 53-year anniversary of the Voting Rights Act.

I’d love to see this area become a tourist attraction and bring much-needed money to the city. It would be a great economic boost.

Since I’ve been here, groups from California and Florida have visited Selma to tour the area for a slice of Civil Rights history. The potential exists, but city officials must take advantage of it.

In the present, Dallas County is still making history.

Selma city Attorney Jimmy Nunn is the first African-American Probate Judge elected in Dallas County. He officially takes office in January.

The 100 Black Men of Selma is writing its own history in their short existence. I applaud their impact on molding the young men in Dallas County.

Sixteen months from now, we’ll celebrate Selma’s 200th birthday as a city. As a resident and media member, I’m looking forward to being part of the historic event.

James Jones is the news editor for The Selma Times-Journal. He can be reached at james.jones@selmatimesjournal.com.