Stories from Selma and the Voting Rights Fight in SF Saturday March 21st

Please join us for this engaging, interactive afternoon with Bay Area Civil Rights Veterans who worked in and around Selma, AL during the 1965 Voting Rights Movement. Saturday May 21st 2-4 PM at the Museum of the African Diaspora in San Francisco. MOAD 8x10 poster image  white

Freedom is a Constant Struggle: Voices of the 1965 Voting Rights Fight

As we observe the 50th anniversary year of the Selma voting rights struggle, the March to Montgomery, and passage of the 1965 Voting Rights Act, Bay Area civil rights veterans share their experiences of the historic African American-led struggle. If you liked the film “Selma,” you will enjoy hearing more about the role of youth during this pivotal period of the Civil Rights Movement.

Program features:
• Personal stories from the front lines in Alabama in 1965
• Singing Civil Rights songs led by renowned Freedom Singer, Wazir Peacock
• Book signing by three authors: Maria Gitin, Charles Bonner and Bruce Hartford
• Wazir Peacock Video (optional still under discussion)
• Historic slide show
• Q & A and discussion
Moderator and Panelist: Bruce Hartford, civil rights activist and historian is author of “The Selma Voting Rights Struggle & the March to Montgomery” Hartford is webspinner for the Civil Rights Veterans at http://www.crmvet.org. He worked on voter-registration and direct-action campaigns with CORE and SCLC 1963-1967 in California, Alabama & Mississippi. In 1965 he worked in Selma during Bloody Sunday, and walked on the March to Montgomery with Dr. King.

Panelist and song leader: Willie B. Wazir Peacock, highly regarded singer of civil rights songs, is featured in the new video, Stand for Freedom: The Life & Times of Willie B. Wazir Peacock. Native of Mississippi, Peacock was an early member of Student Non-Violent Organizing Coordinating Committee (SNCC). He was a SNCC field secretary organizing African Americans voting rights activities in Mississippi and Alabama from 1960-66. He was both participant and witness to many of the most dangerous and violent campaigns of the civil rights movement.

Panelist: Charles A. Bonner, civil rights attorney, is a Selma native and author of The Tip of the Arrow, the Selma Student Movement: a Study in Leadership. Bonner was a leader in Selma high school and college student movement, and was beaten and arrested numerous times for voting rights activities. He was on the bridge on Bloody Sunday and marched to Montgomery, and then helped train white kids working with both SCLC and SNCC during the summer of 1965.

Panelist: Maria Gitin, civil rights veteran and author of This Bright Light of Ours: Stories from the Voting Rights Fight, left San Francisco State College to spend the summer of 1965 working with SCLC and SNCC in rural Wilcox County, Alabama, after the March to Montgomery. She canvassed for voters, was chased by the KKK, and arrested. Four decades later she gathered the memories of her co-workers, including Bonner, in a moving memoir of teenage civil rights action. Read about Maria Gitin and her civil rights work: www.thisbrightlightofours.com

Selma Jubilee Fri March 4th

 

 

Edmund Pettus Bridge at Sunset

 

Representatives of the Selma Mayors Youth Council

Maria with Charles Bonner (above) and Mayor Evans of Selma (below

Selma Mayor Evans, SNCC activists Charles Bonner, Luke Block

Councilwoman Angela Benjamin at Alabama Black Mayors Reception

My lifetime friend and SNCC buddy Charles Bonner, civil rights attorney and activist was a high school classmate of current Selma Mayor George Evans who invited us to the Alabama Black Mayors Reception and cruise on the Selma River under the historic Edmund Pettus Bridge where we will march on Sunday. Here are a few shots of this historic gathering. Several of the mayors hugged and thanked Luke and I for putting our lives on the line so that this day could come to pass. I feel grateful to them for all they are achieving and are about to achieve when we did so little, so long ago. The feeling in Selma is young, vibrant and alive.