Friday, August 14, 2015

News August 13, 2015 Alva James-Johnson: Columbus connections bring history to life

From Georgia-

Reading about history is one thing; living it is another.

Ruby Nell Sales sure knows the difference.

Sales, 67, is a human rights activist who grew up in segregated Columbus at a time when black children were taught that they had a responsibility to uplift their communities.

In the 1960s, she took that sense of purpose to Tuskegee University, where she joined the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee and began campaigning for voting rights in Selma, Ala. There she met Jonathan Daniels, a white, 26-year-old, seminarian who would die saving her life. At the time, Sales was only 17 years old.

I must humbly confess, I knew nothing about Sales until about two weeks ago. I stumbled across her name while working on a story about the 50th anniversary of Daniels’ historic deed, which hundreds of people are expected to commemorate Saturday during an annual pilgrimage in Hayneville, Ala., where he was killed.

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