Call to Selma
Eighteen Days of Witness
Richard D. Leonard
"Monday, March 8, 1965. I headed into our ministers' meeting at the Community Church of New York without the faintest idea that by nightfall I would be in the state of Alabama, and that for the next seventeen days I would be involved in an epic struggle that would fashion the future of our country, and to an extent, the world. We had all witnessed on television the night before the beatings of the civil rights marchers in Selma, Alabama. We had heard Rev. Martin Luther King's appeal to clergy from all over the country to come to Selma to assist the protesters in their demand for voting rights. One of us was going to answer Dr. King's call."
—from Richard Leonard's Journal, Call to Selma
Richard Leonard, age 37, was minister of education at the Community
Church of New York at the time he answered Dr. King's call. His journal forms
the core of Call to Selma and captures one viewpoint of this pivotal
moment in the struggle for voting rights. Includes first-hand accounts and
reflections from more than two dozen other Unitarian Universalists, plus
award-winning photographs by Ivan Massar. Along with the Journey Toward
Wholeness program, the publication of this book is part of the Unitarian
Universalist Association's renewed commitment to the struggle for racial
justice. Call to Selma, writes UUA President Bill Sinkford, "is a source
of hope for the ongoing work of transforming the faith we love and helping our
world bend toward justice."
Richard Leonard, a graduate of Yale College and Union Theological Seminary, retired in 1997 and is minister emeritus of the Unitarian Church of All Souls in New York City.
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Last updated on Wednesday, June 2, 2010.