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.

President Obama’s former pastor to be Jimmie Lee Jackson Day speaker on February 20, 2011

Rev. Jeremiah Wright

Jimmy Lee Jackson

The annual Jimmy Lee Jackson Day and Perry County Civic League Anniversary will be held this year on February 20, 2011 at 2:00 p.m. at the Marion Baptist Academy, in Marion Alabama. The facility is located at 400 Centreville Street. The featured speaker of the day will be the Rev. Dr. Jeremiah Wright.
This event is to celebrate the life and commemorate the death of Jimmy Lee Jackson, a martyr of the Civil Rights Movement.
The Reverend Dr. Wright pastored the Trinity United Methodist Church on Chicago’s Southside for more than 30 years.
He served as President Barack Obama’s pastor for more than 20 years and performed the wedding ceremony for President Obama and his wife Michelle Obama.
Reverend Wright preaches a socialist religion message better known as Black Gospel. The fiery preacher from Chicago is world renown for his tell it like it is messages of Black self help. Reverend Wright got national attention when in a speech before his congregation in 2003 he dammed America for its hate and abuse of African Americans and for turning its back on the promise American made to her citizens. Reverend Wright was a lightening rod during the 2008 Presidential campaign when the speech was discovered by television news. Many political forecasters believed that Reverend Wright’s speeches and style of delivery would derail President Obama’s chance at become President.

Jimmy Lee Jackson

Forty-six years ago a young African American was gunned down in Marion, Alabama by Alabama State Troopers in Mack’s Café. His death led to the Selma to Montgomery March in 1965. That young man was known to most as Jimmie Lee.
Jimmie Lee Jackson was born in Marion, Alabama, on 16 December 1938.
At age 26, the former soldier was the youngest deacon in his church, the father of a young daughter, and worked as a laborer.
On the night Jackson was shot, he marched with his sister, mother, and 82-year-old grandfather, and other protesters from Zion United Methodist Church, where King’s colleague C. T. Vivian had just spoken, toward the city jail where Rev. James Orange, a field secretary for the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC), had been imprisoned earlier that day.
When the local police, aided by state troopers, violently broke up the march, demonstrators ran back to the church, nearby houses, and businesses for safety.
In the melee, Jackson and his family sought refuge with others in Mack’s Café. Troopers followed the protesters inside and began beating people. An Alabama state trooper shot Jimmie Lee Jackson in the stomach as he tried to protect his mother from being beaten. After Jackson was shot, troopers chased him outside and continued to beat him until he collapsed. In addition to Jackson, at least half a dozen others were hospitalized for the blows they received from troopers. Jackson died from his wounds eight days later.
In the weeks following Jackson’s death, SCLC organized a march from Selma to Montgomery, the state capitol. Jackson’s death was “the catalyst that produced the march to Montgomery.”
On 7 March 1965, the day the march first set off from Selma, Sheriff Jim Clark’s deputies attacked demonstrators with tear gas, batons, and whips. Images of the attack were nationally televised and at least one network interrupted regular programming to broadcast the violence of “Bloody Sunday.”
The national attention that this broadcast drew created an awareness of the disenfranchment of African American citizens, particularly in the South, and ultimately led to the passage of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 in August of that year.
Each year, in Selma, this march is recreated on the Edmund Pettus Bridge on the first full weekend in March.
Reverend Wright will receive the Drum Major for Justice Award during the 46th celebration of the Perry County Civic League and Jimmie Jackson Day. This is the highest award given by the Perry County Civic League which is headed by Commissioner Albert Turner, Jr.
The award has been received by such notables as: Rev. Jesse Jackson, Coretta Scott King, Rev. Al Sharpton, and Judge Greg Mathis to name a few. Turner cites Reverend Wright’s long standing fight to seek equality for all as the reason for his nomination to receive this award.