Selma declares annual honor for civil rights activist Reese

Selma declares annual honor for civil rights activist Reese

SELMA, Ala. (AP) — An Alabama city will honor a prominent civil rights figure by naming a day in his honor.

The Selma City Council has voted to declare that March 15, from now on, will be “F.D. Reese Day” in the city, the Selma Times Journal reported.

Fredrick Douglas Reese was 88 when he died in 2018. He had been part of the “Courageous Eight” who played a key role in inviting the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. to Selma to join the fight to ensure voting rights for all.

The works of Reese and his peers led to the Selma-to-Montgomery marches and, eventually, passage of the Voting Rights Act of 1965.
Reese was born and raised in Selma and became an influential educator and pastor.

The idea to designate March 15 as F.D. Reese Day originated from Selma City Councilwoman Lesia James.

“Y’all know the contributions that Dr. F.D. Reese has not only made to the Selma community but to the entire world,” said Selma City Council President Billy Young. “We thank you, Councilwoman James, for leading this effort.”

Selma Mayor James Perkins, Jr. said he was “hippopotamus happy” and “peacock proud” to sign the proposal.

“This is a special day, and long overdue,” Perkins said.

In 2013, The Selma City Council renamed Legrande Street in honor of Reese.

“I feel as if it’s a great honor for a street to be named after me,” Reese said at the time. “I don’t think I deserve all of this.”