R.B. Hudson Class of 1963 celebrated Unity Day

Published 5:47 am Sunday, September 17, 2023

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The R.B. Hudson High School’s Class of 1963 held Unity Day on Friday to commemorate the non-violent student march that ignited the Civil Rights Movement in Selma 60 years ago.

A reenactment of the march began Friday morning, starting from R.B. Hudson STEAM Academy and ending at Brown’s Drugs.

Ruby Gordon, one of the original marchers, said the students’ purpose was to do the right thing.

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“We just wanted everyone to have equal rights and the equal right to vote,” Gordon said.

Actor and producer Danny Glover attended the ceremony. Best known for his roles in “The Color Purple” and the Lethal Weapon franchise, Glover said it was an honor being in Selma.

“Anytime you get to visit a city like Selma, it’s always a blessing,” Glover said.

State Senator Robert Stewart said he appreciates what students, the family of Dr. Bernard Lafayette, Attorney Charles Bonner did 60 years ago.

“It is an honor to stand in solidarity and celebrate the legacy of the 60th Anniversary of the Selma Student Civil Rights Movement,” Stewart said. “Now more than ever, it is essential to build upon the great work of so many ordinary Americans who had a remarkable impact such as the Lafayette family, Attorney Bonner, and others. I am the progeny of their sacrifices and will continue to advocate for economic equity in the Black Belt region and beyond.”

Selma City Councilwoman Lesia James said it’s a historic moment that should always be remembered.

Bonner, a Selma native, recounted the event from Sept. 16 by Dr. Lafayette and his wife.

“Colia and Bernard’s organization of us students led to the birth of the Selma Civil Rights Movement, Bloody Sunday, and the Voters Rights Act of 1965, granting the right to vote to all Americans,” Bonner said. “Thanks to Colia and Rev. Dr. Bernard LaFayette, Selma is the True Birth of Democracy in America. Colia LaFayette Clark Nonviolence Freedom Holiday is the commemoration of the 60th Anniversary of that small first step that led to a changed America.”