On March 9, 2012 our Civil and Human Rights Committee made a road trip to Selma, Alabama which is the site of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s historic 1965 civil rights march. The organizers recreated the history making 4 mile march in remembrance of the late Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Thousands participated in this march that focused on remembering the past, and a present law that passed in Alabama to keep certain citizens in the state from voting. Several famous civil rights activists were in attendance, Martin Luther King III, UAW President Bob King, Rev. Al Sharpton, and Rev. Jesse Jackson to name a few. So many people, even today, consider the civil rights movement a black issue, when the real message Dr. King worked so hard to bring to national attention was equality for all races and all people.
In 1965, then UAW president Walter Reuther and many other members of the UAW were in strong attendance and marched right along with Dr. King against terrible opposition. Following our dedication to defending social justice, the UAW once again showed strong support for the 2012 Selma march including North Carolina locals 5285 in Mt. Holly, 5286 in Gastonia, 5287 in High Point, and 3520 in Cleveland. It was a great time to fellowship with UAW members from our state and across the country. This 2012 march also saw members of the IBEW, SEIU, and the Teamsters in support of this historic cause. We all should be proud of our Civil and Human Rights Committee for volunteering their time to ride to Alabama and represent us in history. The fight for social and economic justice is the foundation our Union is built on, and is reflected in the faces and actions of the brothers and sisters attending this march.
A special thanks goes to Shop Chair Troy Friday for supplying the pictures and information for this article.