Selma and Paris: Two Cities Forever Linked Together In a Movement for Peace

Today marked a critical time in world history. It is not often that two cities are joined together for change. As I watched this morning’s events unfold in Paris France with the peaceful march of solidarity to protest the recent violence, I was struck by events that occurred in my own hometown of Selma, Alabama almost 50 years ago.

In March of 1965, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and other world leaders came to Selma and planned the historic Selma to Montgomery March-a march that would demonstrate to the world the need for a just and democratic America. The four day march from Selma to Montgomery involved Americans and international citizens from many races, religions and cultures. Dr. King led a peaceful march from Selma to Montgomery-very same way officials in Paris executed today’s march.

Today-fifty years later world leaders, French citizens and millions of people once again heard Dr. King’s resounding message of peace and made a powerful statement against violence. It is a message that transcends time and one that will stand the test of time. It is a message that will in the end win over violence. It was a peaceful march in Paris with a message that worked-just as it did in Selma all those many years ago.

As we prepare to celebrate the 50th anniversary of The Selma to Montgomery March which led President Lyndon B. Johnson to sign The 1965 Voting Rights Act let us pause and stand with the people of Paris France and their peaceful message which the world saw and felt today.

The principles of peace, freedom and justice will prevail-and so it shall be.

Jawana V. Jackson


The Sullivan and Richie Jean Sherrod Jackson Foundation and Museum, Inc.

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