Over this weekend, Brian Neal, 38 of Pine Bluff had the the opportunity to walk in the steps of his forefathers, when he joined the Arkansas Martin Luther King Commission for the 2020 Selma Jubilee Crossing.

Over this weekend, Brian Neal, 38 of Pine Bluff had the the opportunity to walk in the steps of his forefathers, when he joined the Arkansas Martin Luther King Commission for the 2020 Selma Jubilee Crossing.

Neal is a class of 2000 Pine Bluff Watson Chapel High School graduate who attended the University of Arkansas-Pine Bluff for a semester before enlisting into the military.

Neal is currently attending Shorter College, a Historically Black College and University (HBCU), located in North Little Rock. He is a prominent leader of the Shorter College Black Male Initiative (BMI).

“BMI has teamed up with the Arkansas Martin Luther King Commission for various events and occasions,” said Neal. “The opportunity to join them in this walk through history is something I can’t wait to experience.”

Neal is just one of the few delegates that will be representing Arkansas in Selma, Alabama for the 55th Annual Selma Bridge Crossing Jubilee.  The Selma Bridge Crossing Jubilee events taking place over the course of this weekend, February 28- March 1, 2020.

This educational experience highlights the Civil Rights Movement, highlight and document events of Dr. King’s involvement in Selma to Montgomery for voter’s rights.

On Saturday, Neal experienced the Civil Rights Trial from the Equal Justice Institute to the Capitol in Montgomery, Alabama.

Today, Sunday, the MLK Commission joins thousands from around the world to commemorate “Bloody Sunday,” which occurred March 7, 1965, when a group of 525 African American demonstrators gathered at Brown Chapel to demand the right to vote.

During the confrontation on Edmund Pettus Bridge, white state and local lawmen attacked MLK and his followers with Billy clubs and tear gas all because they didn’t want blacks to vote.

Two weeks later 3,200 civil rights protestors marched from Selma to Montgomery, Al, which prompted Congress to pass the Voting Rights Act.

“I’m excited to walk in the footsteps of my ancestors,” said Neal. “Alabama is one of the highlights of one of the civil rights movement and I am looking forward to the experience and what I can absorb.”

Organized by the Arkansas Martin Luther King Jr. Commission, a division of the Arkansas Department of Education, the Arkansas delegates will have the opportunity to walk in Dr. King’s footsteps and honor the sacrifices that he and so many others made through nonviolence protests.