Freedom celebration to honor LaFayette Friday

Published 6:00 am Tuesday, September 12, 2023

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Selma Cross-Cultural Nonviolence and Performing Arts Academy will celebrate Colia LaFayette Non-Violence Freedom Day on Friday. LaFayette was the first R.B. Hudson High School student to lead a non-violent sit-in demonstration at Carter’s Drug Store on Sept. 16, 1963. The protest eventually led to Bloody Sunday, and the passage of the 1965 Voters Right Act.

“Colia LaFayette Clark NonViolence Freedom Holiday is a commemoration of Colia’s skillful organizing of the students at R. B. Hudson High School, from March 1963, when she and her husband, Bernard LaFayette, arrived in Selma,” said California Attorney Charles A. Bonner, a Selma native and one of the event’s organizers.

Events will start at 8 a.m. with a commemorative march from Hudson Middle School to Carter’s Drug Store. Nonviolence Workshops will be held later Friday morning at Tabernacle Baptist Church, R.B. Hudson, and Selma High School.

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Actor Danny Glover, a legendary film star, producer and activist, will speak at a mass meeting. Elaine Brown, former leader of the Black Panther Party, and Dallas County District Court Judge Vernetta Perkins will also speak at the gathering.

At the mass meeting, all students are urged to come and make a movie with actor Danny Glover and discover a personal purpose for the advancement of the social and economic development of Selma and surrounding counties.

The event closes with Freedom Banquet Dinner at 7 p.m. for an Economic Summit at Selma University.

The event costs $30 per person. Brown will be the keynote speaker. Glover, Orrville Mayor Louvenia Lumpkins, Judge Jimmy Nunn, Rep. Prince Chestnut, and Sen. Robert Stewart will also speak at the event.