Monday, February 2, 2015

How a Community Quilt Project Reveals the Other Side of Selma

by Nomad

Selma, Alabama might have a long dark history of strife and discord, but one project underway is a symbol of unity for the Alabama town. 

Journalist Alaina Denean, writing for the Selma Times-Journal, explains how the residents of the Alabama town have been working on a quilt as a sign of their united community.

Selma has a long history, much of which centers around discord, confrontation and  defiance against injustice. The quilt project recognizes this history but is also a symbol of harmony by as equal contributors. Selma has, the organizers say, changed for the better.
The quilt, when finished, with be part of an upcoming walk on Sunday March 1.

The march is in memory of the historic march that took place back in 1965 in which thousands demonstrated in support of a voting rights law that did away with poll taxes and literacy tests and other barriers to voter registration.  
Instead of mirroring the 54-mile trek of 50 years ago, the one planned for March 1 will cover the length of the bridge — a short walk high over the Alabama River. It will only take a few minutes, ending at the Songs of Selma Park, where a ceremony will be held.
Former Selma Councilwoman Nancy Sewell told the reporter,
"It's a coming home march. We want to show the world that we are a united community, not like the one in 1965."
The quilt being prepared for the event will be composed of unique squares, each representing the creator, the church or organization they belong to or any other aspect of Selma. 

As one resident said, the project was special because it brought together people "in a new way." 

One of the organizers, Jamie Alvey explained:
Making a quilt together and creating something beautiful together is really powerful. I think it’s special because a quilt is, to me, a physical sign of bringing things together.”
The article quoted another Selma resident, Joyce Flagg:
“I wanted to join the unity march with all of the churches coming together because Selma needs to come together as one. I just wanted to be a part of that.”
She added that she hoped that everybody takes away that "as one unit we can do great things."
Alvey summed it up this way.
“I’m hoping a lot of good will come out of it, and I think it will. I hope people will make new friends.. I hope that new connections will be made.”