Sales to participate in Saturday’s Jonathan Daniels pilgrimage
SPECIAL TO THE SIGNAL
The woman for whom civil rights advocate Jonathan Myrick Daniels gave his life to protect in 1965 will participate in Saturday’s annual pilgrimage in Hayneville, Ala., honoring Daniels and others who lost their lives during the 1960s movement.
Ruby Sales, founder and co-director of Spirit House, an organization working to bring diverse peoples together to work for racial, economic, and social justice, as well as for spiritual maturity, will join the Rt.
Rev. Todd Ousley, Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Eastern Michigan as featured guests at the pilgrimage. Ousley and his wife Ann, after having their first child, adopted two African American babies who were born addicted to crack.
Daniels was an Episcopal seminarian who answered the call of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. to help register African-American voters in Alabama.
He was shot and killed on Aug. 20, 1965, while shielding then 16-year-old Sales from a shotgun blast as she attempted to enter a store to buy something to drink.
Daniels was added to the Episcopal Church Calendar of Saints and Martyrs in 1994 to be remembered each Aug. 14.
The pilgrimage begins at 11 a.m. at the Courthouse Square in Hayneville. The procession will go to the old county jail where Daniels and Sales were among those detained for a week in squalid conditions and then will move to the old Cash Grocery Store where Daniels was killed.
The pilgrimage will end at the Courthouse where a service of Holy Communion will take place in the courtroom where the man who killed Daniels was tried and acquitted. Sales and Ousley will speak during the service.
“The annual event is about more than just commemorating those who made the ultimate sacrifice for civil rights said the Rev. Patrick Wingo, of the Episcopal Diocese of Alabama, sponsor of this year’s event. “It is also about reconciliation, about looking to the future, and about celebrating the dignity of every human being.”
“We are very pleased that Ms. Sales, who has rarely been able to participate, and Bishop Ousley will be joining us for the pilgrimage on this the 45th anniversary of Daniels murder,” said Wingo. “Everyone is invited to join us for the event.”
Refreshments will be available in the Courthouse Square following the pilgrimage.