JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - Jonesboro residents gathered Sunday at the St. John Missionary Baptist Church to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Selma to Montgomery March that took place in 1965.
The Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Jonesboro organized the event to honor those who gave their lives during the civil rights movement. They planned to march across the bridge located on the corner of Main and Johnson but were unable to because of the weather.
Those who attended honored some of the martyrs of the time, which included Reverend James Reeb and Jimmie Lee Jackson. Pastor Ted Taylor Sr. of the church said their focus was on those people who came before them.
"What we look at is a celebration where we commemorate those who have went on before us and they have laid the foundation for us to move forward," Taylor said.
Associate History Professor at Arkansas State University Cherisse Jones-Branch gave a brief history of what occurred 50 years ago. She said this history is something that people should not forget since it shows the struggle America went through.
"And so people need to understand that it's not just black and white, it's an American thing," Jones-Branch said. "It was an American struggle and Americans of all stripes came together to realize civil rights."
At the end of the event, Taylor said hate is something that was taught and a way to eliminate this hate is to teach compassion.
About 40 residents from various backgrounds attended the event.