People from all over the country, including Liberty County, are taking part in the NAACP’s “America’s Journey for Justice” march, which began Aug. 1 in Selma, Alabama.
The NAACP’s website says the current Selma-to-Washington march is to “advance a focused national-advocacy agenda that protects the right of every American to a fair criminal-justice system, uncorrupted and unfettered access to the ballot box, sustainable jobs with a living wage and equitable public education.”
The 860-mile march is scheduled to end Sept. 16.
Liberty County NAACP President Graylan Quarterman was among many who made the 6½-hour drive from Hinesville to Selma to participate in the event — one he wishes he could have participated in 50 years ago.
“Taking that trip made me reflect back to 50 years ago when I wanted to attend that march in Selma, Alabama,” he said. “I wanted to go assist and defend those who were treated unfairly.”
Quarterman couldn’t attend the 1965 march because of his young age. But this 50th-anniversary march, he said, actually is more rewarding because some of Liberty County’s youth are taking part.
“The experience of crossing the (Edmund Pettus Bridge) with the youth inspired me to elevate issues of importance to have every one included in the benefits of society, and no one excluded,” he said.
Quarterman’s daughter, Rachel, 7, was asked to lead the march with Cornell William Brooks, CEO and national NAACP president. She was photographed holding hands with the Brooks while crossing the Edmund Pettus Bridge.
Shawntell Greene, founder of Talented and Educated Leading Ladies of Liberty County, also is a first-time traveler to Selma.
“Attending the march was extremely enlightening. To walk freely on the same roads that many had to fight to walk upon was moving,” she said. “I was excited that not only did I get a chance to experience this historical event, but the president of our Liberty County NAACP Youth Chapter, Tyriek Holmes, did as well.”
The march entered Georgia on Friday, with a rally held the same day at LaGrange College in Troup County. The march from LaGrange to Atlanta is scheduled for Friday. That will end with a statewide mass meeting at the Center for Civil and Human Rights Museum. State Rep. Al Williams, D-Midway, will preside over the meeting, and Liberty County School System Superintendent Dr. Vayla Lee will give the greetings.
Quarterman encourages community members, local and statewide, to participate in the upcoming events. He also is looking for churches that are willing to volunteer vans to take participants to the different march locations in Georgia.
For more information on upcoming events, and how to get involved with the march or to volunteer, contact Liberty County NAACP secretary at firstname.lastname@example.org or call Briana Pickett at 912-408-2278.