PHIght for Selma recreating historic civil rights march

Published 2:39 pm Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Hosted and prepared by the Jefferson State Community College Phi Theta Kappa honor society, PHIght for Selma will be Oct. 17. (Contributed)

Hosted and prepared by the Jefferson State Community College Phi Theta Kappa honor society, PHIght for Selma will be Oct. 17. (Contributed)

By MOLLY DAVIDSON / Staff Writer

HOOVER—On March 9, 1965, hundreds of brave men and women set out from Selma for a historic 50-mile march to Montgomery. On Oct. 17 members of Jefferson State Community College’s Phi Theta Kappa honor society will recreate a slice of that historic event during the PHIght for Selma event at the Hoover-Shelby Campus.

The event will include speakers from Selma as well as a symbolic walk recreating the march.

Registration for the free event will open at 8:30 a.m. An educational hour will be held from 9 a.m. to 10 a.m. Historian and Selma native Allegra Jordan and fellow Selma native Jawana Jackson will speak and share stories. Attendees will also have the opportunity to ask questions.

“(Jackson’s) house is the home where Martin Luther King Jr. stayed when he was in town, so she has a kind of first-hand view of history,” Dr. Liesl Harris, Phi Theta Kappa chapter advisor and JSCC associate dean of transfer and general studies, said.

After the presentations and discussion, attendees will participate in a five-mile walk, representing the historic march from Selma to Montgomery.

The event will conclude with a spaghetti meal, symbolic of what the marchers ate.

“It’s just spaghetti,” Harris said of the simple meal. “We’re trying to do just what the marchers did.”

Members of the JSCC Phi Theta Kappa chapter have spent months studying and preparing for the Oct. 17 recreation of the march. Since May, the group has researched the march.

“(It’s the) ideological frontier for standing up for your rights,” Harris said. “(The students were) exploring why people were brave enough to do this, especially after Bloody Sunday, it was very dangerous.”

Students scoured print sources and interviewed people to gain insight into the experience in Selma. They also took a trip to the city.

“In addition to print resources, we also did oral histories and first-hand experience research,” Harris said. “We actually went to Selma and did a city-as-text tour.”

The Oct. 7 PHIght for Selma is the first of its kind at JSCC, Harris said, adding she thinks the event will be an educational and enriching experience.

“This one is unique, it’s the first time we’ve done something like this,” Harris said. “I think it’s a great project, I’m very proud of (the students) for doing this.”