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This brief introduction to Selma’s bottom up history can help students and others learn valuable lessons for today. As SNCC veteran and filmmaker Judy Richardson said: “If we don’t learn that it was people just like us – our mothers, our uncles, our classmates, our clergy – who made and sustained the modern Civil Rights Movement, then we won’t know we can do it again. And then the other side wins – even before we ever begin the fight.”
As we pay tribute to the legends and pioneers of Juneteenth, like early Juneteenth pioneer Rev. Jack Yates (John Henry Yates), we give a special salute and on-stage re-creation of one of the early Juneteenth celebrations, then called “Freedom Day Celebrations,” by ex-slaves in a nightclub.