Selma Connection History
…getting together for common good and interest.
The idea of hometown mates periodically coming together was divinely birthed out of the brotherhood, love and respect of five individuals in January 2004. When Berry James (Chicago, IL), John Luckie (Detroit, MI), Charles Parker (Chicago, IL), Nathaniel Jody Robinson (Detroit, MI) and the late Washington Craig (Chicago, IL) met for breakfast on a cold winter morning, discussions commenced about an all-inclusive gathering of individuals from Selma, AL. The meeting ended with the unanimous decision to establish a bi-annual reunion for fellowship among old friends from Selma. The group committed to meet on odd years during the third week of June so there would be no interference with the ongoing R.B. Hudson High reunion.
After approximately a year and half of phone calls and discussions between the Chicago and Detroit based groups, plans were finalized to meet in Chicago during the third week of June 2005. At this first gathering, the Chicago crew agreed to cover all costs. It was at this reunion the idea was suggested by Vera James, wife of Berry James, that all future reunions be called the “Selma Connection”.
Cincinnati, OH was host to the third Selma Connection, which was held on June 22 –23, 2007. The participants received a warm reception from the Ohio based group while revealing the initial growth potential and magnitude of the good times to come. In Cincinnati, the group hosted a picnic and many memories were enjoyed while the past times of our youth such as enjoying music, playing card games and telling stories ensued. The host committee had an itinerary that included a trip to the Underground Railroad Museum as well as special visit at the banquet by the late Rev. Fred Shuttlesworth, a beacon during the Civil Rights Movement.
The fourth Selma Connection, in Detroit, MI, was held June 19-21, 2009. This was a celebration of love, joy and triumph. The motor city offered a great location for our participants. The host hotel was located in historical downtown Detroit, a few blocks away from Tiger Stadium and the casinos. It was definitely a reminder of the opportunities afforded to those who migrated to this northern city in the prosperous days of the automotive companies explosion. A good time was truly enjoyed by all. The activities included a meet and greet, picnic at Belle Isle’s Flynn Pavilion and a banquet at the Cadillac Ballroom. As indicated by this reunion’s mission statement, it was a “Representation of Endless Possibilities Through Christ!”
Mobile, AL was the host city for the fifth Selma Connection, held on May 27 – 29, 2011. The first southern city to host this reunion, guests got an opportunity to see some of the culture of the port city and experience some down-home southern hospitality. This event was hosted by Jessie Mabin Eleby and offered a fun-filled itinerary of events. Home of the original Mardi Gras, guests got an opportunity to tour the Mobile Carnival Museum which highlighted the history of the birthplace of this pre-Lenten celebration. The Saturday night dinner and dance featured a Mardi Gras themed event, which featured live entertainment from a local band. The Sunday morning worship service was well attended and soul food Sunday dinner was served at the hotel before partaking on a chartered riverboat cruise at Bellingrath Gardens. The riverboat cruise was followed with a casino trip to the Hard Rock Casino in Biloxi, MS. The Memorial Day weekend ended on a high note with a luau that included a barbecue and fish fry at the Lazy Day Ranch.
The upcoming Selma Connection will be held in Atlanta, GA June 7-9, 2019. Indeed, this reunion has become an effective means of networking and communication with hometown friends, family and classmates from Selma. The host committee is excited to continue this growing tradition.