Truth Booth makes stop in Selma

Published 8:28 pm Saturday, September 8, 2018

Jim Ricks brought his Truth Booth creation to Selma on Saturday.

Several Selma residents dropped by the Songs of Selma Park at the foot of the Edmund Pettus Bridge to tell the truth inside a 15-foot plastic speech bubble.

A person goes along in the booth gets asked what the truth is in a recording. They will say what the truth is for two minutes. After the videos are edited, ArtsRevive will then host a screening at its Carneal Building in 2019.

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Ricks said the Truth Booth originated at the University of California in San Francisco, then launched in Ireland.

“It started as part of another project with all of the different languages,” Ricks said. “What we wanted to do was ask people what the truth was, not tell them. It allowed people to speak for themselves.”

Once the Truth Booth debuted in Ireland seven years ago, Ricks saw the project had plenty of potential.

“We realized there was a concept,” Ricks said.

Ricks also saw the Black Belt Region as a strong spot for the Truth Booth.

“We can show this material about people in the South and what they’re going through,” Ricks said. “This area is like a whole different country.”

Morgan Academy juniors Emily Strickland and Colleen Jones, both 16, enjoyed the booth, especially the one-on-one time.

“I like that it was secluded and I wasn’t under pressure,” Strickland said. “The Truth booth was very comfortable and I wasn’t out of place in there.”

“I think the Truth Booth is very interesting and it’s a good opportunity to see what everybody’s thinking,” Jones said. “It’s very well put together.”

Aspiring artist Kenneth Harrell, who graduated from Selma High last year, saw it as a chance to exhibit some of his artwork.

“I was told it’d be a good opportunity to show my artwork,” Harrell said. “I want to get people’s opinion and get good advice.”

The booth will also make stops in Uniontown, York and Mississippi.