Pilgrims descend on Hayneville for Jonathan Myrick Daniels Pilgrimage and Procession
Published 1:19 am Sunday, August 13, 2017
By Fred Guarino
The Lowndes Signal
Saturday, Aug. 12 marked the 21st annual Pilgrimage and Procession for the Fest of Jonathan Myrick Daniels in Hayneville and a breakfast for high school students from Birmingham, Lowndes County and Manhattan, NY, who attended the event.
The pilgrimage honors the memory of Jonathan Myrick Daniels and all the Alabama Martyrs of the Civil Rights Movement. It was sponsored by the Episcopal Diocese of Alabama, the Episcopal Diocese of the Central Gulf Coast, the Commission on Race Relations in the Church, the town of Hayneville and the Lowndes County Commission.
Daniels was an Episcopal seminarian who answered Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s call to come to Selma and help register blacks to vote. After he was arrested in Fort Deposit for picketing white-only businesses, he was later released from the Lowndes County Jail in Hayneville. Daniels and several others went to the Cash Store in Hayneville where Daniels was fatally shot, taking a bullet to prevent the death of a 16-year-old girl named Ruby Sales.
The guest speaker this year was Dr. Bernard LaFayette Jr., a Civil Rights Movement activist, minister, educator, lecturer and authority on the strategy of non-violent social change.
He was founder of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) in 1960 and was the leader of the Nashville Movement Lunch Counter Sit-Ins in 1960 and Freedom Rides in 1961.
Also in attendance was Joe Frank Bailey of Fort Deposit, who organized the picket in Fort Deposit where he, Daniels and others were arrested.
Both LaFayette and Bailey spoke at a breakfast hosted by the Lowndes County Board of Education for students attending the event. Donations to help reimburse the Lowndes County Board of Education for hosting the breakfast are used by the school system instead to provide scholarships for Central and Calhoun students.
Lafayette spoke to the students about untold circumstances behind the stories of the Civil Rights movement.
And Bailey told the students the story of how he was arrested with Jonathan Myrick Daniels and the day Daniels was killed.
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Look for more to come and see photos on The Lowndes Signal Facebook page.