The Arkansas Martin Luther King, Jr. Commission will take a delegation to Selma, Ala., this weekend for the 54th annual Selma Bridge Jubilee Crossing, according to a news release.
The crossing will take place Sunday, March 3, and bring thousands from across the country together to commemorate “Bloody Sunday,” which occurred March 7, 1965, when a group of about 525 African-American demonstrators gathered at Browns Chapel to demand the right to vote, according to the organizer’s website.
“Two weeks later, the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. and 3,200 civil rights protesters marched the 49 miles from Selma to the state capital, Montgomery, an event that prompted Congress to pass the Voting Rights Act,” according to the release. “Every year on the first weekend in March, the Bridge Crossing Jubilee commemorates both the bloody confrontation at the Pettus Bridge and the March from Selma to Montgomery that followed.”
Scheduled guests at the March 3 event include the family of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., the Rev. Jesse Jackson, former first lady Hillary Clinton, Charles Steede, National President of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, along with several presidential candidates, according to the release.
“This is an opportunity for the Arkansas Martin Luther King, Jr. Commission to literally walk in Dr. King’s footsteps and honor the sacrifices that he and so many others made through nonviolence,” said DuShun Scarbrough, AMLKC executive director.
“As we prepare to enter an election year, we see the Selma Trip as also an opportunity to re-energize Arkansans, especially young Arkansans who will turn 18 and become eligible to exercise their constitutional right to vote — which is the premise for this weekend’s events,” he said.
“Ms. Annie Abrams once said, ‘Service is the rent that we pay to stay here on earth.’ This is our service, to teach young people about Dr. King and to honor the impact he made in Arkansas and across the nation,” Scarbrough said.