A House Where History Was Made
A house in Selma, Alabama, where Martin Luther King, Jr., planned a famous civil rights march is being relocated and will soon be open to the public. The house will be moved to Dearborn, Michigan, to be part of a history museum called Greenfield Village.
Jawana Jackson, who grew up in the house, sold it to the Henry Ford Foundation so it could be recognized for its part in the civil rights movement. Jackson was 4 years old in 1965, when King and other civil rights leaders arrived at the house to plan marches from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama, in support of voting rights for Black Americans. The march was one of many that King and other leaders organized to protest racist laws and policies. While at the house, King had telephone conversations with U.S. president Lyndon Johnson. He urged President Johnson to support legislation expanding voting rights and protections to Black Americans. That same year, the U.S. Congress passed the Voting Rights Act of 1965.
Jackson’s parents offered King, an old friend who lived in Montgomery, the use of their home because they knew his work would be important to Jawana’s future.
“[Jawana] and children in this country and all around the world … deserve a better, a more even, a more just society. Whatever we can do to support you, we’re here,” Sullivan Jackson told King, according to the Pensacola News Journal.
“It became increasingly clearer to me that the house belonged to the world, and quite frankly, The Henry Ford [Foundation] was the place that I always felt in my heart that it needed to be,” Jawana Jackson told the Associated Press.
The foundation runs Greenfield Village, a history museum in Michigan that contains more than 80 historic structures. Soon, the Jackson home will be one of them. Officials are dismantling the home so it can be transported to Dearborn, where it will be rebuilt. Once open to the public, the home will contain some of King’s neckties and pants, as well as furnishings dating back to 1965.
The home is expected to open in the next three years.