Stories from Selma: Two Nights & a Lifetime with Dr. King
Jan 16, 2017
Personal and Political Reflections by Chuck Fager
Free and open to the public.
7:30pm-9:00pm in the Barn.
NB: This event will NOT be livestreamed.
Chuck Fager, who worked with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in Selma, Alabama in the voting rights campaign there in 1965, will share stories and reflections from his time in the movement. He will focus on first-person accounts of some key moments, both for him personally and for the Selma campaign.
In December 1964, Chuck joined the staff of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) in Atlanta. Shortly thereafter he was sent by SCLC to Selma, Alabama, where he took part in the 1965 Selma Voting Rights Movement organized by Dr. King and SNCC, the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee. During that time Fager was arrested three times and spent one night in a jail cell with Dr. King, as told in his book, Eating Dr. King’s Dinner the personal story of his early life and beginning activism.
Fager (far right in the image below) left Selma in early 1966. His experience with Dr. King’s nonviolence led him to jettison the pro-war outlook he had inherited from a youth spent on military bases, and in late 1965 he successfully applied for status as a conscientious objector to the military draft. As a result, he was required to perform two years of alternative service. During that time he found and was drawn to the Religious Society of Friends, the Quakers.
In 1974 Scribner’s published Chuck’s book, Selma 1965: The March that Changed the South, the first detailed account of the voting rights movement there. The book was updated and reissued in a 50th anniversary edition in 2015. Fager says his experiences in Selma and with Dr. King were formative for his later career of activism and writing, as well as his spiritual/religious path.
Signed copies of both of Chuck’s books will be available for sale on the night of his talk.