MONTGOMERY, Ala. -- More light has been shed on events planned to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the Montgomery Bus Boycott that will be recognized Nov. 29 through Dec. 5, and this year it's all about the youth.
"In reflecting on the history, one aspect that consistently stood out was that the movement was led by young people," said Barbaranette Bobbie, one of the planners for the commemoration with the Montgomery Improvement Association.
The theme of the commemoration is "Uncommon Courage: Leaving footsteps. Leading Change."
The Montgomery Improvement Association approached the County Commission Monday during a work session to give a few more details on what has been planned for the occasion.
Commission Chairman Elton Dean thanked the organization for partnering with the county, city and Troy to celebrate such an important anniversary.
"This is much larger than the 50th anniversary of the Selma-to-Montgomery March," Dean said. "This really changed everything."
The MIA will host a Beyond the Bus Youth Leadership Summit. There will also be an event detailing the role of attorneys in the Bus Boycott led by attorney Fred Gray, a cog in many important civil rights cases.
The summit will invite 25-40 students from Montgomery, Dallas, Bullock, Macon and Lowndes Counties to come to the Renaissance Hotel Convention Hall at 10:30 a.m. on Dec. 1, the day Rosa Parks was arrested.
From there, the students will march up Bibb Street, to Lee Street and take a turn on Montgomery Street. At 11 a.m. there will be a reenactment of the arrest by the students of Alabama State University, including, drama, song and dance.
Once they return to the Renaissance, students will have a chance to reflect on the past as well as the current needs in their community, how to set goals and make dreams a reality, Bobbie said.
At 6 p.m., the time of Parks' arrest, the community is invited to gather in front of the monument by Troy University's Rosa Parks Center for the unveiling of a new city historical marker. At the same time, all area churches are asked to ring their bells in commemoration.
National figures, like Steve Harvey, who launched the Disney Dreamer Academy and Usher (Raymond) the singer, who rolled out the successful New Look initiative for youth, have been invited to present to youth at the summit.
Dec. 5 will be the recreation of the original Mount Zion meeting, where the boycott idea originated, the MIA was formed and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was named its first president.
The Mount Zion, a 2015 conversation, will reflect on past events, along with looking toward the future and present-day events and struggles.
An award banquet will also be held that night to honor all living leadership who had a part in the original boycottas a "thank you" for their courage and leadership.