Monday, March 05, 2007

Living History in Selma at the Jubilee


I'm so thrilled and honored to have gotten the chance to be in Selma and Montgomery this weekend. The Bridge Crossing Jubilee in Selma ended yesterday with a reenactment of the actual crossing of the bridge.

In continuation of the theme of being in the right place at the right time (knock on wood), there were several very prominent politicians also in Selma. Here are just a few: one former president, Bill Clinton, and two people running for president in 2008, Senators Hilary Clinton and Barack Obama. Senator Clinton spoke at the First Baptist Church and Senator Obama spoke at the AME Brown Chapel-- the churches are a couple blocks away from each other.

My parents and I decided to try to see Senator Obama speak and suprised ourselves by actually getting in. We were very moved listening to the entire service at Brown Chapel-- the exact place where the March started 42 years ago. I was so moved as well by listening to Mr. Obama who could very well be the first African American president. Follow the link to hear what Senator Obama said yesterday.

After the church service, Senator Clinton walked down from the First Baptist Church and we got to hear her speak as well. How moving as well to hear from a woman who could be the first woman to be president of the United States. Follow the link here to see what she had to say. The crowd cheered loudly for both senators, and no matter what the news reports may say-- there was nothing but unity in Selma yesterday.

So then: get this.... I said farewell to my parents. They were SO bummed, having to leave before the actual bridge crossing. Anyway, I turned around and saw a few people-- at the end of what was starting to be the march through Selma-- running into the neighborhood across the street from Brown Chapel. I was curious, so I followed and WOW!!!! Dear Reader, there in front of me was former president Bill Clinton. He was here to be with his wife Hilary- but also to get an award from the National Voting Rights Museum. He was also being followed by MANY reporters and tons of people who saw him and wanted to shake his hand. Well I of course wanted to do the same, and I did! People were so full of joy having seen Obama, Hilary Clinton, and now Bill Clinton (a few told me they would wait awhile before washing their hands). He had come to the Jubilee before and as I walked with the marchers I kept talking to people and hearing how they had now gotten to meet him twice! He is very loved here and seemed thrilled to be in Selma yesterday.

What a great day in Selma yesterday. Check out the pictures of the event here. And what an honor to be part of history. The biggest lesson for me in the last few days is this: EVERYONE that can vote should vote. EVERYONE. People died for the right to vote. They were beaten, lynched, shot-- all for the right for every single person 18 or older to vote without having to count the number of jellybeans in a jar, prove they have money, or take a literacy test. So there you have it dear reader. Look forward to turning 18 for that very reason. And if you're older than that.... I hope you vote in every election.

Cheers! The next time I write to you will be from Birmingham.

6 comments:

Brannon Littleton said...

Ms. Ventura,
It was a pleasure meeting you. You're road trip sounds exciting. Hope you find the south living up to its "southern hospitality" reputation!
Best of luck,

Brannon Littleton
Scottish Inns Hotel, Clanton, AL.

Lynn said...

Marcia,

WOW! One president and two presidential candidates in one day! I'm jealous. It sounds like Selma was a once in a lifetime experience.

Glad to hear from you today. Say hi to Drew, Tamara, Santiago, and Francisco from me and Tammy!

Lynn

pam parham said...

Hi Marcia_ I miss you!!!!!
Sounds like you are having some great adventures. I want to shake the hand that shook the hand of Pres. Clinton. Yes I do!
safe travels dear friend.
Pam at 3202

Marcia Ventura said...

Thanks Brannon! I had a good night out of the cold in Clanton. And it was great to talk to you when I first got into town.

Cheers!
Marcia

Marcia Ventura said...

Lynn,

Thanks so much for setting this up for me! I will definitely say hi to Drew, Tamara, Francisco and Santiago for you and Tammy. They are a GREAT family and it is such a pleasure to be here. :)

And YES. Selma was awesome. I still can't believe that I saw all that I did in one day.

Love,
Marcia

Marcia Ventura said...

Pam!!!!

Good to hear from you, my good friend! I'll be seeing you in a couple months back home on Beacon Hill! I am having amazing adventures for sure and I can't wait to tell you all about them in person.

Love and lots of hugs,
Marcia