Home Editorials Recognizing the best of Alabama (Rosa Parks and Johnny Ford)

Recognizing the best of Alabama (Rosa Parks and Johnny Ford)

by Dr. E. Faye Williams
Dr. E. Faye Williams

<TriceEdneyWire.com)> As the state of Alabama was in the news again, doing more things that are not in the best interests of women or Black Americans, it dawned on me that such actions are nothing new for some of the state’s leaders. During this Women’s History Month and the recent Black History Month, it’s my pleasure to honor two of Alabama’s best who are truly remarkable people.

Alabama is on the list of the Montgomery Bus Boycott case where Rosa Parks sat on the bus resisting segregation on buses. She held her seat and was arrested. That act ignited a great response in Montgomery and across the nation, earning her the names ‘Mother of the Civil Rights Movement’ and ‘First Lady of Civil Rights.’ Rosa has also been honored during this Women’s History Month. After Sojourner Truth’s historic placement which I led in the U.S. Capitol, Rosa proudly ‘stands’ there with a memorial in Statuary Hall. A bill has been initiated to legalize a federal holiday honoring her.

The Alabama Supreme Court just issued a decision on another subject adding to the negative history of Alabama. One is the IVF case regarding frozen embryos. It grants personhood to embryos. The most recent case regards the governor of Alabama signing a sweeping bill into law on anti-diversity, equity, and inclusion.

Fortunately, Alabama has a native son who continues to work to make Alabama a better place for both women and Black people to live. I had the honor of working with him in Washington, D.C. this past week. That honor goes to Mayor Johnny Ford who served six terms as mayor, (now city councilman) a remarkable feat for anybody, anywhere—especially in Alabama. Mayor Ford continues to be known worldwide as Mayor Ford and he now serves as founder and leader of the World Conference of Mayors. He is recognized and highly respected everywhere he goes. During the past week, he was in Washington, D.C. visiting the White House’s Office of Intergovernmental Affairs; USAID; Prosper Africa; and AON, the U.S. Department of State’s City and State Diplomacy event by special invitation. He was welcomed by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. He also had an audience with  D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser.

During this time, he was working for the best interests not only of Alabama but for mayors in seven key areas: Trust, Trade, Tourism, Technology, Twin Cities, Treasury, and Training. He was seeking assistance for mayors and other officials in Historic Black Towns and Settlements of the world, including Africa, in three ways: to Preserve, Protect, and Promote the rich African American culture, and heritage.

His work includes working with other organizations and leaders such as Dr. Kenneth Harris (president of the National Business League), Dr. Charles DeBow, Jr. (president of the National Black Chamber of Commerce), and numerous city and county officials through The National Policy Alliance chaired by Denise Tyler.

He has also recently announced the WCM/HBSTA’s 2024 40th anniversary in Atlanta, Georgia. The meeting will be held August 21-25, 2024. This will be held during the 124th annual meeting of the National Business League founded by Dr. Booker T. Washington. The WCM/HBSTA will also meet in Lagos, Nigeria as a co-convener with Africa’s Brain Bank International Conference, chaired by its CEO, Rev. Queen Mother, Dr. Pam Fomunung. Mayor Ford has invited the world to join his organization in establishing the ‘United Nations of Cities.’

I am pleased to be the representative/advocate of the World Conference of Mayors/HBSTA in Washington, D.C., and a member of its board of directors. Other board officers include: Samuel Ings, Jimmie Gardner, Alberta McCrory, Ed Jones, Frank Jackson, Deborah Delgado, DeKeither Stamps, and Dr. Abdoulaye Mbengue. 

Don’t forget to vote!

(Dr. E. Faye Williams is president of the Dick Gregory Society.)

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