Remembering Jonathan Daniels and other civil rights martyrs

Tomorrow, people in Alabama will walk the path that seminarian Jonathan Myrick Daniels walked before he was murdered on August 20, 1965. Daniels was a Freedom Rider who went to Alabama to register African-American voters and took part in the march from Selma to Montgomery.

The Montgomery Advertiser says that the march “will stand in remembrance of Daniels and the countless others who fought to bridge the racial divide in Selma and the South.”

Participants will start the walk at 11 a.m. at the Lowdes County Courthouse in Hayneville, where Daniels was tried and sentenced for a social justice protest in Fort Deposit. Participants will then move on to the county jail, where Daniels served time. The march will then go to the Varner’s Grocery Store, which is where Daniels was killed after his release from jail. The march will end with a liturgy at the county jail.

Dain and Constance Perry will deliver the keynote address.

Dain Perry is the descendant of one of the largest slave-trading families in American history, while his wife is a descendant of North Carolina slaves.

The pilgrimage is a moving experience that Milligan said she could hardly put into words. What’s certain is that people leave feeling differently, she said.

“It is my experience that when you get back to the courthouse, it loses its sense of something evil,” she said of the experience she’s had every year since 2005, “and becomes spiritual.”

“You cannot go to the march and not be changed, even if the change just lasts for five minutes, you’re changed,” she said.

Read the rest here.

Past Posts