El Camino: On the road to Selma

El Camino: On the road to Selma
Larry Luckey, photo by Teresa Puente

We drove from Montgomery to Selma, Alabama, on U.S. Highway 80 on the road that those who fought for civil rights traveled in 1965.

We stopped midway between the two cities where marchers set up a “Tent City.” Today at that spot is the Lowndes Interpretive Center. There were photos, videos and audio testimonials of people of all races who took part in the marches for civil rights.

I had read about this important time in American history but to be there was moving and reminded me of how far we have come and how far we need to go.

As we entered Selma, we decided to walk across the Pettus Bridge, site of the Bloody Sunday march where police violently attacked the protesters.

At the end of the bridge there are memorials to the marchers. There I met Larry Luckey, 63, of Birmingham. He recalled living with segregation and the impact the marches had on him as a child.

He remembers segregation in restrooms and in places like Woolworths, where they handed blacks food out the back door.

“These people here gave their lives for have what I have today,” he said.

Luckey was in Selma attending a missionary Baptist conference and said what the world needs today is more faith and churches to help the needy in their communities.

“We all belong to God. It don’t matter where you live at or where country you come from,” he said.

Amen to that.

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