A Salute to the Women Fighting to Maintain Voting Rights

On Bloody Sunday, March 7, 1965, the Alabama State Police spared no activists — not even the women — on Selma’s Edmund Pettus Bridge. They, too, were knocked to the ground, trampled by horses and struck by batons, just like the men — all for standing for the rights of African Americans to vote. As America continues to commemorate the nobility of all of the activists credited for the Voting Rights Act of 1965, Women’s History Month is also an …

At 103, Selma Marcher Shows Us All How to Live

The “Bloody Sunday” 50th anniversary march was an event that inspired people across America to stand for justice wherever injustice prevails. In that regard, among the greatest inspirations at the March 7 commemoration was 103-year-old Amelia Boynton Robinson, a foot soldier who marched with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Who would have thought that this heroine, knocked unconscious by the Alabama State Police during the original Bloody Sunday protest, would return 50 years later, marching in a wheelchair alongside Barack …

Will the Church Lead Racial Reconciliation?

With daily media reports of racial and cultural conflicts around the world and here at home, it is well worth noting a recent story about a multiracial group of clergy that has begun work on racial reconciliation in America. It took place with a meeting at the Potter’s House, ministry headquarters of Bishop T.D. Jakes in Dallas. On Jan. 15, the actual birthday of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., pastors from around the country convened in Dallas to discuss …

Civil Rights Songs in the Key of Freedom Still Resonate

“Precious Lord, take my hand. Lead me on, let me stand. I am tired. I am weak. I’m worn. Through the storm, through the night, lead me on to the light. Take my hand precious Lord, lead me on.” In the movie Selma, the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. calls Mahalia Jackson, the “Queen of Gospel,” at a moment when he is most discouraged. Over the phone, she sings “Precious Lord” to comfort him. For me, this was one of the …

Wisdom for Life in the New Year

As I travel in diverse circles from day to day, I pick up tidbits of wisdom from various voices, whether from speeches, conversations or even something I may have read. Approaching 2015, I’ll take a moment now to reflect and share a few recent quotes for what I call “wisdom for life in the new year.” The first quote comes from the Rev. Jesse Jackson Sr. as he eulogized former D.C. Mayor Marion Barry Dec. 6. He said: “When champions …

50 Years After Dr. King’s Nobel Peace Prize: The Power of Nonviolence

Nonviolence is a powerful and just weapon. Indeed, it is a weapon unique in history, which cuts without wounding and ennobles the man who wields it. I believe in this method because I think it is the only way to re-establish a broken community. —The Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., University of Oslo, Dec. 10, 1964 It was 50 years ago this month that Martin Luther King Jr. made this statement during his Nobel Peace Prize acceptance speech in Norway. …