Learning from Selma?

This month is the 50th anniversary of the march from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama in support of voting rights. I recently watched the new movie ‘Selma’ with UUFE’s high school youth.

The movie includes scene after scene of the leaders in struggle to decide be best tactical steps to change voting rights policy. Their burdens at the time were heavy and the path uncertain. The movie also has scene after scene of violence. Many people facing attack had advocated for changes. Others were attacked just because they were black. I encourage everyone to see the movie and to consider how this history helps our understanding of the recent racial justice issues.

A key part of the Selma story is Dr. Rev. Martin Luther King’s call for supporters to come to Selma. Unitarian Universalists and many others responded boldly. At least 170 UU clergy, plus many more lay leaders, went to Selma in March 1965. The movie tells the story of those who died – Jimmie Lee Jackson, Viola Gregg Liuzzo, and James Reeb. The latter two were Unitarian Universalists.

It matters to know our history and to share it with our youth. As an intergenerational faith community in 2015 we have a responsibility to ask the hard questions of our day together. We are called to listen and study. We are called to speak up and to speak out. We are called to act. The anniversary is a reminder of the possibilities of our collective commitment to create a world that is more just and less violent.

In this month of deciding how we can each be generous stewards of the mission of UUFE there are many lessons in the story of Selma – much we can learn together.

In gratitude for the generosity of this community,

Rev. Sue

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *