Man with albinism walks beside King

Abernathy, Foreman, King, and  Rev Douglass

Abernathy, Foreman, King, and Rev Douglass

I have just discovered something that I wish I had known long ago. It would have made me stand up a little taller. Dr. Martin Luther King walked the streets of Selma arm and arm with an albino pan-African: Rev. Jesse Douglas Sr.

There were many freedom fighters who walked and fought side be side with Dr King. Many did not get top billing or a holiday named after them but at least their names were known. Jessie Jackson and Ralph Abernathy were only two of the prominent figures we know today. But Reverend Douglas was at the time only known as “unidentified White man”.

He is now known. He not only has a name, he holds two Bachelors, a Masters, and a Ph.D. Rev. Douglas is now in his mid eighties and looks back on the days of the freedom marches.

Dr. King used Rev. Douglas’s color as a litmus test. They sent him into the White’s only diner to order and eat a meal, which he did without incident. This reminds me of the times Whites would say ugly things to me about my own people, not knowing I was Black.

I find this extraordinary because I have learned from my friends and from my own experiences that our own people don’t always accept us as full-fledged Black folks. One friend told me he was threatened at a Black rally and told to go home. I was also told to go home when in the midst of my own people. So imagine my delight and relief when seeing this photo and reading about this extraordinary man.

If you want to know more about Jesse Douglas Sr. and hear him tell his story in his own words follow these links.

Rev Jesse Douglas

Rev. Douglas today


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