By Tia Lynn Lecorchick
Six teens from the “Dream Team,” a youth program through The Morgan County Boys and Girls Club spent last weekend on a very special bike trip from Selma to Montgomery in honor of the 50th anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s iconic march in protest of illegal and discriminatory voting restrictions for African-Americans. The teens spent Saturday retracing the route civil rights protesters infamously trekked half a century, carving the path of freedom and equality further.
This year’s Dream Team is comprised of Boys and Girls Club members Timothy Allen, Devin Bryans, Damien Bryans, Trell Ward, Emmaus Williams, and Jarod Sanders. Every year, the Dream Team embarks on a bicycling trip, but this year holds special significance, said Neil Walker, education coordinator for the Morgan County Boys and Girls Club.
“Not only is it black history month, but this anniversary marks an event that changed the course of American history,” said Walker. “It’s important that we continue to celebrate the things Dr. King stood for. The very right to vote was made possible by Dr. King’s sacrifice and and the sacrifices of all the people who were a part of this march.”
“It was a different day and time back then and we want young people to understand that this march is partly responsible for the freedom and liberties they have today,” explained Walker.
New Director La Chrislyn Goss is thrilled about the team embarking on such a momentous bike ride.
“The Selma 50 ride is an educational trip which will enrich our members of their country’s past history. Our kids are learning, through various educational activities this month in addition to viewing the movie Selma. Our kids are making history being as this is the youth’s first biking trip. I am also proud of the hard work and diligence of our educational director Neil Walker. Our Dream Team is living the dream,” said Goss.
According to the Montgomery Bicycle Club, all are invited to “come pedal the Historic Selma-to-Montgomery Voters Rights March Route…While riding the Selma to Montgomery National Historic Trail, we encourage you to stop and see the sights, envision the march, feel the tension, cross the bridge, follow the paths of the foot soldiers, and end in triumph.”
The journey began in Montgomery at the Capitol for group photos before participants loaded buses and bikes to head over to Selma’s Riverfront Park on Water Avenue. Bikers made a pit-stop at the iconic Edmund Pettus Bridge and visited the the Lowndes Interpretive Center that is “strategically placed near the site of historic ‘Tent City’ where Martin Luther King Jr. and protesters set up camp during the march.