Rev. Jeremiah Wright preaches powerful prophetic sermon on Jimmie Lee Jackson Day

Rev. Jeremiah Wright preaches powerful prophetic sermon on Jimmie Lee Jackson Day
By John Zippert

Rev. Jeremiah Wright, retired pastor of the Trinity United Church of Christ of Chicago, the congregation attended by President Barack Obama when he lived in Chicago, delivered a powerful prophetic sermon to commemorate Jimmie Lee Jackson Day in Marion, Alabama on Sunday.
The program was sponsored by the Perry County Civic League. This was the 46th annual celebration of the life of a young Black martyr, who was killed by white police trying to protect his mother and grandfather during a night march and civil rights demonstration in February 1965.
The death of Jimmie Lee Jackson which led to the first Voting Rights March from Selma to Montgomery on March 6, 1965. This march was stopped by Alabama law enforcement officials at the foot of the Edmund Pettus Bridge. The nonviolent marchers were ridden down and beaten by mounted police and deputized posse members. These beatings led to a second march three weeks later, protected by the National Guard, which ultimately led to passage of the 1965 Voting Rights Act.
Rev. Wright spoke of efforts to create the “beloved community” that Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. preached about. He quoted effortlessly from sections of the Bible, especially Isaiah and Mica who urged nations “to beat their swords into plowshares and their swords into pruning hooks, and study war no more.” Wright said this means a world without torture and terrorism.
He said, “The election of one Black man as President of the strongest nation in the world was not the answer but just a step along the way to our overall goals. There are still steep hills of hate left to conquer including those being created by the ‘tea-partiers’. We must still slay the three-headed monster of racism, capitalism and militarism that Dr. King warned us about.”
Wright said, “We are in an in-between time, a meantime that is mean, where there is still injustice and oppression to overcome.
We put Obama in office and then left him alone to work against the problems instead of trying to keep working and helping him to make the changes that we wanted and needed.”
Wright urged the audience, “ to be constant, consistent and confident. Hate is not as strong as hope. We must keep working and show what we are working for and working on every day.”
Albert Turner Jr., President of the Perry County Civic League presented Rev. Wright with the organization’s Drum Major for Justice award. An award was also presented to the family of Willie Lester Martin, a foot soldier for justice in Perry County who recently passed away.
Prior to Rev. Wright’s sermon, several public officials serving Perry County gave reports on work and progress during the past year. These officials included: John Heard III, Perry County School Superintendent; Anthony Long, Mayor of Marion; Fairest Cureton, Chair Perry County Commission; State Senator Bobby Singleton, Circuit Judge Marvin Wiggins, a representative of Congresswomen Terri Sewell; Faya Rose Toure for her husband, Senator Hank Sanders and others.
Faya Rose reported on a recent caravan from Selma to the Geneva County jail to protest the limited six month sentense given Jimmie Lee Jackson’s murderer and the opportunity to serve the sentense in his home county rather than where his crime was committed.


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