They say it will unite black leaders, including Louis Farrakhan of the Nation of Islam and those representing the Southern Christian Leadership Conference made prominent by the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., for the first time in this generation.
“We have risen above our historical differences, and we are united,” said Tuskegee Mayor Johnny Ford.
The National Coalition of Leaders to Save Section 5 announced on Tuesday that Farrakhan would join them for a June 14 caravan and pilgrimage that will stop at 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, at the Shelby County courthouse in Columbiana, at the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, and conclude with a 4 p.m. event at the state Capitol in Montgomery.
Ford said that black leaders are uniting in support of Section 5, which requires some states including Alabama to apply to submit proposed changes to issues dealing with elections to the U.S. Department of Justice for approval, despite their differences. The U.S. Supreme Court is currently considering a legal challenge by Shelby County to Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act, with the county and some states arguing the section is no longer needed because those regions have made progress since the civil rights era and because it only targets some regions. The court listened to oral arguments, but has not ruled. [READ MORE]