University President Drew G. Faust traveled to Alabama this weekend for the 50th Anniversary of the Voting Rights March at Selma.
In Friday’s morning prayer service at Memorial Church, Faust, a civil war historian, discussed her own personal involvement in the Civil Rights movement.
“I had felt the burden of that responsibility from the time I was small—growing up with the privileges of whiteness in the racial hierarchy of 1950s Virginia,” Faust said at the prayer service, adding that as a college freshman, she skipped her midterms to attend the 1965 march.
Invoking the poet Seamus J. Heaney, Faust talked about her previous experience at Selma as an opportunity to make “hope and history rhyme,” and said she planned to return to honor civil rights leaders including Martin Luther King Jr., Hosea L. Williams, James L. Bevel, Diane J. Nash, Andrew J. Young, Jimmie Lee Jackson, and John Lewis.
“No victory is absolute; we have to keep our eyes on the prize to hold on—even to the Voting Rights Act [of 1965] itself, which is being threatened and eroded at the same time we are celebrating its passage,” Faust said.
—Staff writer Theodore R. Delwiche can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @trdelwic.
—Staff writer Mariel A. Klein can be reached at email@example.com. Follow her on Twitter @mariel_klein.
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