The 53rd Anniversary of Bloody Sunday Commemoration opened, Sunday, March 4th, with the Annual Martin and Coretta King Beloved Community Unity Breakfast at 7:30 a.m. on the campus of Wallace Community College Selma.
Dr. James Mitchell, President the College, said: “The Martin and Coretta King Unity Breakfast brings to Selma a diverse group of individuals from across the state, nation, and world and is always a highlight of the entire Bridge Crossing Jubilee. The Breakfast is filled with substantive speeches, impressive entertainment, and good food and fellowship. It brings people together in the spirit of unity that Dr. King and Coretta Scott King advanced throughout their lives. This year, Congresswoman Maxine Waters received the 2018 National Unity Award.”
Other 2018 Unity Breakfast Speakers included U.S. Senator Kamala Harris, Congresswoman Terri Sewell, U.S. Senator Doug Jones, NAACP Legal Defense Fund President and Director Sherrilyn Ifill, Rainbow PUSH Coalition Founder Rev. Jesse Jackson, Southern Christian Leadership Conference President Dr. Charles Steele, Repairers of the Breach Founder Rev. Dr. William Barber, and others.
Entertainment included performances by the original Freedom Singers from the Civil Rights Movement, and by the Viver Brasil Dance Company.
Following the Unity Breakfast, the Bridge Crossing Jubilee and Bloody Sunday Anniversary Commemoration continued with church services across Selma including at Tabernacle Baptist Church, Clinton Chapel, Brown Chapel Church, and First Baptist Church. Church services followed by the Pre-March Rally outside Brown Chapel AME Church, which was the site of the start of the original Marches in 1965.
Following the rally, there was a reenactment of the Bloody Sunday March starting at Brown Chapel AME Church, continuing to Broad Street, and moving across the Edmund Pettus Bridge. There was a Post-March Rally on the Montgomery side of the Bridge. The original Selma Voting Rights Struggle played a critical role in passage of the 1965 Voting Rights Act, and this year’s Commemoration includes a recommitment to restore Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act.
The Jubilee Street Festival continued Sunday afternoon and included a Post-March Gospel Concert and Gospel Tribute to Dr. King. The myriad of arts, food, and other vendors opened throughout Sunday afternoon at the Festival. Other events, included the Bridge Awards Ceremony late Sunday afternoon, culminated four days of extensive events and constant activity throughout the 25th Annual Bridge Crossing Jubilee.