JoAnne Bland honored at City Council meeting

Published 4:57 am Sunday, February 18, 2024

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JoAnne Bland, one of the few surviving Bloody Sunday Foot Soldiers, was honored at the Selma City Council meeting on Feb. 13.

Bland received the President’s Award at the city council meeting. Council President Billy Young and former city councilwoman Angela Benjamin presented the award to Bland, who participated in Bloody Sunday on March 7, 1965. Bland received a standing ovation for the award.

Young said Bland should be appreciated for her historic achievements, especially during Black History Month. Perkins nodded in agreement.

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“JoAnne Bland is an example of living black history right here in Selma,” Young said. “She is a reminder of Black History.”

Bland said she is not resting on her foot soldier laurels and plans to open Foot Solider’s Park next year.

“Foot Soldier’s Park was my vision when I returned to Selma in 1989,” Bland said. “We want a playground where all children can play. We hope to break ground and open Foot Soldier’s Park and Education Center in 2025.”