SELMA, Ala. – Every year, the Arkansas Martin Luther King Jr. Commission travels to Selma, Alabama during the first weekend in March, to commemorate both the bloody confrontation at the Edmund Pettus bridge and the march from Selma to Montgomery.
Each year, the Arkansas Martin Luther King, Jr. Commission selects people from all four congressional districts to participate with thousands from across the country in the Bloody Sunday re-enactment. This year for the 58th anniversary of the bridge crossing they invited volunteers and high school students.
On Saturday, ahead of the re-enactment, the commission went to the Selma Jubilee Festival on the foot of Edmund Pettus Bridge where Executive Director of the Arkansas MLK Jr. Commission DuShun Scarbrough said it holds a history that sparked change.
“58 years ago our forefathers marched for a 3 day walk from Selma, Alabama to Montgomery to speak about the voting rights act,” Scarbrough said.
He said the march was met with a lot of opposition; however their efforts were not in vain.
“A few months later, congress enacted the voting rights act of 1965 and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was present,” Tiffany Pettus, the Historian with the commission said.
Scarbrough said the festival shows a sense of unity.
“It provides us an opportunity to have one on one time,” Scarbrough said.
13-year-old Seprayla and J’Lesia Farris are Estem Downtown students who also traveled with the commission, joining thousands of people from across the world who are expected to attend Sunday’s event.
Both students said joining the commission Dream Keepers Civil Rights Tour to Selma has been amazing and they have learned so much.
“I like to learn about what happened on the bridge and all the signs that I can read about history,” Farris said.
Scarbrough said one of their missions is to pass along the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. to young people so they can share it with their peers.
“They will continue to teach that legacy as well and it will never be forgotten,” Scarbrough said.