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The On Common Ground News Black History Month publication.


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    VEC sets bus pilgrimage from Atlanta to Selma, Alabama The Voter Empowerment Collaborative (VEC)

    is planning a bus trip on March 8 to commemorate the 50th Anniversary of the Selma-to-Montgomery March and the Voting Rights Act of 1965.

    Participants will retrace the steps of the historic march, which became known as Bloody Sunday, after law enforcement officials attacked peaceful demonstrators on the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma.

    Today, the bridge remains the symbol of a movement that helped ignite the fight for blacks to have first class citizenship, which included the Right to Vote.

    The march was ignited after a 26-year-old black man named Jimmie Lee Jackson was shot dead in a restaurant in the city of Marion, Alabama on Feb. 18, 1965. Jackson, his mother and grandfather were part of a peaceful protest of about 500 people who were walking from Zion United Methodist Church to the

    Perry County Jail about a half a block away where SCLC field worker James Orange was being held. Police, sheriffs deputies and state troopers attacked the marchers and began beating them. Jackson and his family members ran into Macks Caf where police confronted them and shot Jackson. He died at a hospital eight days later.

    On March 7, 1965, 600 peaceful marchers flanked two by two, headed east out of Selma on U.S. Route 80. They got only as far as the Edmund Pettus Bridge six blocks away, where state and local lawmen attacked them on horse back with billy clubs and tear gas. That Bloody Sunday helped lead to the passage of the Voting Rights Act of 1965.

    The theme for the Atlanta-to-Selma bus pilgrimage is Its a Family Affair and parents and their children are invited to attend.

    VEC has signed up four busloads so far220 people and VEC President, the Rev. Albert E. Love,

    says there is always room for more. Everyday we get more calls. We are still signing

    up people. We arent just going for commemoration; we are going to put voter registration laws on the forefront, said Love. Bloody Sunday marks 50 years ago that we went to Selma to fight for voting rights and 50 years later we go to Selma to defend them.

    Buses will leave Atlanta on March 8, 6 a.m. and return at 9 p.m. The cost is $60 and includes lunch. The deadline for payment is March 4, 6 p.m. Payment may be made via Pay Pal at VEC: www.vecvoter.org or checks may be mailed to: The Voter Empowerment Collaborative, Inc. for Selma Trip, P.O. Box 310270, Atlanta, GA 31131-2213.

    Selma will be the site of a series of workshops, a parade, and several other events during the 50th Selma-to-Montgomery Commemoration Celebration, which runs March 5-9. For a schedule of events, visit www.selmajubilee.com.

    Celebrating Black History Month

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    PBS will take Motown music lovers on a cultural journey this month when it showcases a re-broadcast of the legendary TV special Motown 25: Yesterday Today Forever. The historic concert debuted on NBC on May 16, 1983 and has not been seen in the television world since that night. The special was available on DVD just last year.

    PBS will air Motown 25 on Feb. 28 on stations throughout the country, giving fans a second chance to see the magic and history of both, the television special and the famed record label. The PBS premiere will run throughout March.

    Produced by de Passe Jones Entertainment and Berry Gordys West Grand Media, Motown 25 was taped before a live audience at Californias Pasadena Civic Auditorium and showcases virtually every Motown artist from the companys inception, including Michael Jackson,

    Marvin Gaye, Smokey Robinson, Stevie Wonder, Diana Ross, The Supremes, The Jackson 5, The Miracles, The Temptations, Four Tops and many others. The show also features many guests outside the Motown Records sphere

    influenced by Motown artists, including Linda Ronstadt, who performs a memorable duet with Smokey Robinson; Billy Dee Williams; Jose Feliciano; and British new wave star Adam Ant, who was riding a wave of popularity from MTV exposure. Comedian Richard Pryor hosts the show.

    With the popularity of Motown: The Musical, which continues to open in major markets across the U.S., and the programs recent success on DVD, theres never been a better time to re-air the original broadcast, said Suzanne de Passe, executive producer of the TV show. Whether youre discovering that incredible night of music for the very first time, or are a huge fan of Motown whos been eagerly awaiting the shows return to TV, Motown 25 offers a lifetime of magic and memories for all everyone.

    Check local listings for PBS information and broadcast times.

    No amount of time would be sufficient to recognize all of the trailblazers who saw what no one else could, did what no one else dared and gave us all what we needed most. Georgia Power is proud to honor the achievements of African-Americans throughout Black History Month and more importantly beyond.




    Connect With Us

    PBS to present legendary Motown 25 concert

    Lou Walker Senior Center Presents

    Afro-American Culture through Song & Dance

    The Lou Walker Senior Center Performing Arts Group will present Afro-American Culture Through Song & Dance, Feb. 23, 2 p.m. An adaptation from its Unveiling Contribution Series inspired by cast member Irmogene Alexander, the narratives and musical arrangements of this performance are produced and directed by Gwendolyn F. Thomas.

    Visitors to the center may also experience diversified dance instruction by volunteers Taliah Hasan, Sharon Patterson, Gwendolyn F. Thomas, Ruth Mayo, Johnnie Kimbrough, Yvonne Eversley and Senella Watson.

    In addition to the dance performances, the afternoon will feature Negro Spirituals from the Wings Over Jordan collection, and educational narratives of the Afro-American culture in the states of Georgia and Alabama, which include the periods of slavery through the present.

    The Lou Walker Senior Center is located at 2538 Panola Road, Lithonia. Admission and parking is free.

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    DeKalb County Commissioner Larry Johnson and the Atlanta Business League will host A Business Empowerment Summit on Tuesday, Feb. 17, 6:30 p.m., at the Porter Sanford Performing Arts and Community Center, 3181 Rainbow Drive, Decatur.

    The event will give an introspective look at the history of African American business development in DeKalb County. Keynote speakers will be Leona Barr-Davenport, president and CEO of the Atlanta Business League (ABL), and Milton Jones, chairman of the ABL Board of Directors.

    The event will also honor the first female president of the ABL, Alice White Bussey, co-owner of Bussey Florists & Gifts; R.L. Brown, president and CEO of R.L. Brown & Associates; and C.D. Moody, president and CEO of Moody Construction.

    Other topics of discussion include economic development opportunities for the Ellenwood community and South DeKalb, as well as upcoming opportunities for small businesses.

    A reception with light refreshments will be served at 5:30 p.m. 404-288-4440 or 404-371-2425.

    Honoring Our Past, Celebrating Our Future

    Mae C. JemisonFirst Black Female Astronaut

    Americas First Lady Michelle Obama

    Rosa ParksCivil Rights Activist

    Shirley ChisholmFirst Black

    U.S. Congresswoman

    Serena WilliamsWorld Tennis Champion

    Hon. Ruth WilsonRockdale Countys First Black Clerk of Courts

    and Constitutional Officer

    Saluting Black History Month

    Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.Civil Rights Activist

    Nobel Peace Prize Recipient

    W.E.B. DuBoisCivil Rights Activist, Orator

    Jackie RobinsonFirst Black MLB Player

    Frederick DouglassAbolitionist Leader

    Our Heritage Is Rich, Our Nation Is Stronger

    We Celebrate Our InspirationRJ Hadley

    Rockdale Countys First Black Tax Commissioner

    As the Sheriff of Rockdale County, I ask the citizens to stand with me and the Rockdale County Sheriffs Ofce in celebrating Black History month. This is a celebration to recognize the many accomplishments and achievements of black Americans in history.

    We thank the people of yesterday and today for taking us to where we are and to the young people who will lead us in the future. I will always require my staff to treat citizens fairly and without prejudice.Sheriff Eric J. Levett

    Underground Atlanta to host celebrity moms for paradeUnderground Atlanta will host

    a Black History Month Parade with celebrities and the mothers of Atlanta celebrities leading the way. The parade is scheduled for Monday, Feb. 23, noon at Underground Atlanta, 50 Upper Alabama St., S.W., Atlanta.

    Four-time Emmy-Award winner Eric Chambers; Housewives of Atlanta cast member Erica Pinkett; and Carl Anthoy Payne--Cole from the Martin show will lead the way for the parade, along with R&B singers Nicci Gilbert and Tony Terry. The Celebrity Moms of Atlanta

    also will be at the forefront of parade participants. The moms are: Mama Joyce (mom of Kandi Burruss); Mama

    Diane (mom of Tiny); Mama Shirley (mom of Rasheeda); Mama Camp (mom of K-Camp); Mama Cash (mom of Cash-Out); Mama Holiday (mom of J-Holiday); Mama Wyatt (mom of Keke Wyatt); and Mama Brenda (Syleena Johnsons mom).

    The celebrities and celebrity moms will be joined by DJ Greg Street, the Atlanta Falcons Birdlady and members of the WNBA Atlanta Dream to walk in the parade.

    The Fulton County Sheriffs Office and members of the Atlanta Caribbean Carnival will also walk in the parade,

    as well as marching


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