After listening to an interview on NPR in January 2015 with Civil Rights activist and author Lynda Blackmon Lowery on her newly released book, “Turning 15 on the Road to Freedom,” Friends Middle School students wrote Ms. Lowery to express the admiration and inspiration they felt upon hearing her story. The author was the youngest of several hundred Selma residents who marched with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama in 1965 to peacefully protest voter suppression – a march which turned terribly violent. As fate would have it, Ms. Lowery opened the packet of the Friends students’ letters on April 27, 2015, as she sat watching CNN coverage of the Baltimore uprising.
Ms. Lowery says that her heart felt both uplifted and sad upon realizing that these Baltimore students, who wrote her with such honest hope for the future, were now bearing witness to the violence erupting in their beloved city. Ms. Lowery quickly accepted an invitation to come visit Friends School. Fate once again has had its hand in her visit, as she will be meeting with our students on Tuesday, April 26 – Primary Election Day in Maryland. Fifty-one years after the historic Voting Rights Act; Americans find themselves still facing voter suppression in many states.
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