Minister Louis Farrakhan visits Birmingham, Shelby County
BIRMINGHAM - AL —
80-year-old Louis Farrakhan came to Alabama, Friday, with a message.
"You love the country, then fight for justice!," Farrakhan said.
Some people consider Farrakhan to be a historic figure in the fight for civil rights. He's perhaps best known for organizing and leading the Million Man March in Washington D.C. in 1995. He's also been affiliated with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Malcolm X.
Friday, he was encouraging citizens to fight to keep Section Five of the Voting Rights Act intact.
"We got Section Five of the Voting Rights Act, which allows black elected officials to be elected," Farrakhan supporter, Faya Toure, said. "And they're trying to take that away."
The section, which says states with a history of discrimination must get federal approval before changing voting laws, is now under consideration by Supreme Court Justices.
"We must neither tremble, nor shake, because a law is no law at all if there is no will on the part of those who make the law to enforce that law," Farrakhan said.
Farrakhan visited Kelly Ingram Park in Birmingham and the Shelby County Courthouse in Columbiana. Supporters say he will leave a lasting impression.
"I think his legacy is bringing unity," Spencer Gray said. "And still fighting for all rights of all people."
During his speeches, Farrakhan recited words of wisdom from Dr. Martin Luther King.
"[King's] destiny was not to dream," Farrakhan said. "[King's] destiny was to see a people truly free at last."
Freedom that Toure says doesn't exist if Section Five is repealed.
"We're expected to forgive and forget," she said. "We will forgive, but we will not forget because when we forget, what happens is what's happening in Alabama now."
Farrakhan was also supposed to make a scheduled visit in Selma, Friday afternoon, at the historic Edmund Pettus Bridge.