Let Selma be a Spark
by Wade Hudson
The movie Selma brings up close and personal, the tremendous dedication, commitment, perseverance and hard work and sacrifice of Dr. Martin Luther King to confront the evils of segregation and Jim Crow laws. But it also allows us to see that Dr. King didn’t fight the battle alone. Many stepped up in the struggle for freedom and justice. Most are unsung heroes.
The movement in Selma was an important event in the freedom struggle. Its landmark status, finally recognized, is deserved. But the fight to end slavery and its successor, legal segregation, with all the evil that accompanied it, has been long. We are thankful for Selma, the movie. We embrace it! We encourage as many people as possible to see it and discuss it in family gatherings, classrooms and churches.
I am hopeful, however, that the interest now piqued doesn’t end with Selma. Let Selma be a spark to ignite a desire to know more about the many other battles in the struggle for freedom and the people who waged them. Richard Allen. Denmark Vessey. Frederick Douglass, Harriet Tubman. Sojourner Truth. Ida B. Wells-Barnett. WEB Dubois. The list goes on and on.
Just Us Books was established, among other reasons, to present these heroes and others and the history of the Black struggle for freedom and justice in books written specific for children and young adults. In the tradition of Sankofa, our youngsters need to reach back to the past, take from it what is good and bring it to the present as they prepare to make positive progress in the future.
Wade Hudson is an author, speaker, and president/co-founder with his wife Cheryl of Just Us Books, independent publisher of books for young people that celebrate the diversity of Black history and culture. You can connect with him on Facebook and at http://justusbooks.com