Alabama NewsCenter — U.S. Civil Rights Trail Companion Book a Showcase for Alabama History

| July 28, 2021 @ 8:00 am

By Michael Sznajderman

Lee Sentell was in college when he personally heard the words of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. It was during the 1965 Selma-to-Montgomery voting rights march, on the night before King delivered his famous “How Long? Not Long” speech on the steps of the Alabama State Capitol.

King spoke to rain-soaked marchers camped on the edge of Montgomery at the City of St. Jude, a Catholic education, healthcare and spiritual complex devoted to the Black community.

A student at Auburn University in 1965 and a staffer for the campus newspaper, The Auburn Plainsman, Sentell had come to Montgomery – not so much for the march, but to hear the evening of entertainment scheduled for that night outside St. Jude. Organized by popular recording artist, actor and activist Harry Belafonte, the Stars for Freedom Rally featured a stunning array of performers and celebrities, including Sammy Davis Jr., Odetta, Mahalia Jackson, Joan Baez, Tony Bennett, Nina Simone, Leonard Bernstein and Peter, Paul and Mary.

The AlabamaWx Weather Blog gladly brings you an excerpt of this article through a partnership with the Alabama NewsCenter. You can see the complete post featuring all the associated images and videos by clicking HERE.

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Alabama News Center tels the stories of the people and businesses powering the states of Alabama, striving to make Alabama a wonderful place to live and work.

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