Living Democracy

Unity in the Community Brings Out the Best in Selma

Unity in the Community Event in SelmaAcross the street from the historic St. James Hotel, Phoenix Park came alive on Saturday, June 6, with bright colored balloons, tents, singing, mouthwatering food, and a plethora of happy people attending the fourth annual Unity in the Community Praise and Worship.

Selma City Council President Corey Bowie and Ward 5 Councilman Samuel Randolph started the event four years ago.  The event now draws hundreds of people to enjoy a day that focuses on bringing Selma together and moving its mission forward.

A host of choirs from churches across the city took turns amplifying gospel praises that could be heard from the crest of the Edmund Pettus Bridge.

Families, friends, neighbors, and strangers danced and shuffled across the park’s lawn while small children delighted in the fun provided by a moonwalk bouncer and inflatable slide.

A welcoming energy of love clothed the event like a fleece blanket fresh out of the dryer. But fleece blankets were the last things on anyone’s mind.

The sultry summer heat beckoned attendees to break out hand-fans and water bottles. One tent offered shaved ice, while another welcomed bystanders a refreshing blue raspberry and pineapple punch.

Council president Bowie emphasized that Selma has come a long way and is now a “melting pot” thus the theme of Unity in the Community: An International Taste.

Tantalizing aromas from the herbal essence of Italian cuisine, the spice of Jamaican soul food and America’s own ballpark favorites filled the air.

“We have to embrace all cultures and races…and today’s event was all about working together and moving forward,” said Bowie.

The Council was personable, approachable and engaged throughout the entire event, and it was clear that they earnestly believe in unifying Selma.

Councilman Randolph could be spotted constantly mingling with citizens. He also took the stage with Morning Star Baptist Men’s Chorus and entertained the crowd with several selections.

Jimmy Nunn, the city’s attorney, also showed off his vocals. He sang “God is Good All the Time” with the Shiloh Male Chorus, which that made the crowd toe-tap, clap and shout just a little bit louder.

Even the Selma Fire and Rescue Department showed off some of their fancy footwork.

“It’s two very important vowels in unity, it takes ‘u’ and ‘I,’ and that’s what today epitomizes, coming together for a common cause and giving God the praise,” Bowie said.

Unity in the Community is not only a chance for Selmians to fellowship with one another, but to also give back.

A portion of the entry fees collected will go to support Visually Impaired People Inc., a non-profit that raises awareness for people with visual impairments in the Selma and Dallas-County area.

Several attendees were also winners in a raffle drawing that paid one of their utility bills.

By Illyshia Parker
Last Updated: June 09, 2015