Courageous Free Thinkers Celebration honors Civil Rights Icons

Published 10:08 am Tuesday, February 27, 2024

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The 10th annual Courageous Free Thinkers Celebration will be held during the Bridge Crossing Jubilee weekend.

A press conference held Feb. 20 officially announced the Free Thinker events for March 2 – 3 presented by the Selma-Dallas County Friends of the Selma to Montgomery National Historic Trail Association (Selma Friends).

A Courageous Free Thinkers reception is slated for March 2 at 5 p.m. at the Carl C. Morgan Convention Center, followed by a forum at 6 p.m. A church service will be held March 3 at Ebenezer Missionary Baptist Church (EMBC) at 9:30 a.m. Free thinkers award recipient Lawrence F. Haygood will be the guest speaker. 

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Selma Mayor and EMBC Pastor James Perkins Jr, Chairman of the Courageous Free Thinkers Celebration, said the emphasis is on honoring civil rights historians who paved the way. 

“Ebenezer is honored to host the tenth annual Courageous Free Thinkers Celebration, paying

tribute to ‘The Courageous Eight,’ citizens who led the voting rights movement in Selma long

before Bloody Sunday,” Perkins said. “Each year, we gather to honor these true heroes and emphasize the importance of human and voting rights.”

The purpose of the event is to honor the legacy of those who fought for voting, civil, and human rights. The program features three engaging components: the Free Thinkers Reception, a Free Thinkers Forum, and a Free Thinkers Church Service.

Charles H. Johnson, Chairman of the Selma Friends, emphasizes the focus on voting rights.

“The issue of voting rights remains a primary concern, and we must continue doing everything in

our power to maintain a focus on this cornerstone of our democracy,” Johnson said. “This year, we zero in on matters of family violence, urging informed discussions and support for victims of domestic violence.”