By Geneia Holman
This year Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University’s (FAMU) Sociology and Criminal Justice Club will be an integral part of the planning and execution of the historical 51st annual Selma Bridge Crossing Jubilee.
The Bridge Crossing Jubilee, Inc., affectionately called “The Jubilee,” is a nonprofit organization founded in Selma, Ala. by Hank and Rose Sanders.
Catrena Norris Carter, national coordinator of the Selma Bridge Crossing Jubilee, and Faya Rose Touré (aka Rose Sanders), founder, appeared at the Third Thursday lecture series, hosted by FAMU’s Sociology and Criminal Justice Club, to discuss the Selma Bridge Crossing and what it means to be “21st century leaders.”
Touré, who spent most of her career as Rose Sanders until she decided to step away from her “slave name” in 2003, gave a brief history lesson on the importance of knowing African- American history.
“African-Americans, in this country, have a history that no other people have. The problem is, we don’t know who we are. When we know who we are we will know that our lives matter and we will scream to the world and join the movement of young people who are saying, ‘Yes, my life matters too,’” Touré said.
Carter led with the 21st Century Youth Leadership Movement’s motto to express the importance of youth stepping up, becoming leaders, and making a change in the world.
“I am a 21st Century Leader! I must prepare myself to be the very best that I can be. I must prepare my body, my spirit, and my mind. And in time, I’ll shine, you’ll shine, we’ll shine, a light of love, justice, and peace will shine in the 21st century like never before. I am a 21st Century Leader,” Carter said.
Robyn Seniors, who is co-chair of the Clean Water for Flint youth committee and the epitome of a 21st century leader, also spoke at the Third Thursday Lecture series.
The Clean Water for Flint (#CW4F) campaign was formed to provide desperately needed resources to persons affected by the Flint, Mich. water crisis. The goal of the campaign was to collect 10,000 bottles of water for the residents of Flint, Mich. by March 5.
Seniors challenged FAMU students to take action and encouraged them to donate cases of water to send to Flint.
“This is a call to action. We have set a goal to provide at least 10,000 bottles of water to the residents of Flint, Mich. by spring break. I encourage you to help the children of Flint by donating as much bottled water as you can,” Seniors said.
Every year The Bridge Crossing Jubilee, Inc., hosts the commemoration of the historic event and the struggle for the right to vote, by gathering at the foot of the Edmund Pettus Bridge in a festival of music, art, and historical remembrance.
This year, the Jubilee took place March 3- 7. In 1965, Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. marched from Selma to Montgomery to gain voters rights for African-Americans and on March 7, the Selma-to-Montgomery march was reenacted by the citizens of Selma and individuals from around the world.
Last year about 200,000 people were in attendance. Attendees included President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama.