I don’t know about you, but I have been so moved by the legacy of Selma. Watching the power of this singular moment in American history unfold through the film Selma (even the trailer will give you chills), I was moved by the story of Jimmie Lee Jackson and proud to see UU’s Rev. James Reeb and Viola Liuzzo find their place in the struggle, even when they all paid the ultimate price. I’m halfway through Rev. Dr. Mark Morrison Reed’s new Skinner House book Selma Awakening. I was inspired by the bold message shared by five of my colleagues who are Women of Color, noting how the Sankofa message of “reach back and get it” applies to today. And I find myself wondering – if it were 50 years ago, would I have answered the call to justice?
Thankfully, I know the Love People are here to answer that call and we will show up in bright yellow shirts to honor Selma, recommitting to civil rights through our work in the Black Lives Matter movement and racial justice organizing . If you will be in Selma, join the UU Standing on the Side of Love contingent in Selma and sign up on Facebook to let us know you will be there!
If you can’t be there in Selma in person to mark this anniversary, there are so many ways to keep Selma alive wherever you are.
• Hold a Selma Sunday worship service. Click here to access Crossing the Bridge for Justice, a sample two page Order of Service and Worship Resources.
• Host a Selma Sunday Vigil after worship services on Sunday March 8, 2015. If possible, hold your vigil from 2:30-3:30 CST to coincide with the march re-enactment in Selma. Bring or create “We remember Selma”, “Black Lives Matter” and “Love” signs (among others). Reach out to activists and faith leaders in your community and hold your vigil together.
• Tell your friends, change your Facebook status, talk with your family, write a poem or shout from the rooftops about why Selma matters today.
• Live streaming of major conference speakers, including the Rev. Dr. William Barber II, will be available on the Living Legacy Project website here.
Fifty years ago Unitarian Universalists and others couldn’t just stand by in the face of injustice. We ‘take up the torch’ to honor those who were lost and what was gained by their sacrifice. My son was born a few weeks ago, and as I think about the world that he will inherit, I know that it’s my turn to carry that torch to make sure the fire of our commitment to a better future never goes out.
Carey McDonald, UUA Outreach Director
P.S.: Don’t forget to share this with your congregation, clergy or spiritual community. If your service is already planned for March 8, perhaps there are ways to incorporate elements of Selma Sunday into your worship.