Roundtable highlights Selma Civil Rights legacy

Published 11:53 am Friday, March 1, 2024

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The Selma Jubilee Ministers of Justice Roundtable delivered a powerful punch at Historic Tabernacle Baptist Church on Thursday.

Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) CEO Dr. Charles Steele Jr. and Rev. Dr. Bernard Lafayette each delivered powerful opening statements about Selma’s legacy in Civil  Rights.

Lafayette, who has a street named after him in Selma, said he always enjoys seeing the Queen City honor for its rich history.

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“I’m overjoyed to see what Selma has meant to the world,” Lafayette said. “You were born in Selma with a purpose.”

Steele discussed the current political climate, saying race is not a factor in some instances.

“You have to hold Black politicians accountable like you do the white politicians,” Steele said. “Getting in the office just won’t do it. They follow the money. I was told the SCLC wouldn’t make it. We built a $20 million dollar building in Atlanta. You want to know why I made it, because I’m not a crook.”

Progressive National Baptist Convention (PNBC) Social Director for Social Justice Rev. Darryl G. Gray,  who pastors Greater Fairfax Missionary Baptist Church in St. Louis, Missouri, said Selma carries a lot of weight in Black history. 

“From a spiritual point of view, it’s important to be in Selma for the jubilee,” Gray said. “The spirit of Selma can not be denied.”

Pastor Henry C. Davis Jr. of Big Roxanna Baptist Church in Montgomery said it is important for the younger generation to understand the meaning of the jubilee.

“It’s good to know where we’ve been and not to go back,” Davis said. “We get a new commitment to give back to our community.”

Selma High senior Diante Thomas and pre-teen Miss Jubilee Jade Camile Smart of Montgomery were the co-emcees for the event.

“I am honored to have been chosen as one of the emcees,” Smart said.

Thomas said he enjoyed being around civil rights historical icons like Steele and Lafayette.