JACL in Selma: Hawaii Legislators Continue Tradition by Bringing Lei to Selma

MLK Lei

Dr. Martin Luther King wearing a lei in Selma. Lei from Hawaii were given to civil rights leaders in a gesture of friendship and goodwill before the third Selma to Montgomery March in 1965. Photo Credit: AP

JACL is in Selma, Alabama this weekend to commemorate the 50th Anniversary of the 1965 voting rights demonstrations and marches that led to the passage of the landmark Voting Rights Act. The JACL delegation is attending the events with Todd Endo, a longtime JACLer who participated in the demonstrations in 1965 and covered the events in a series of articles for the Pacific Citizen Newspaper.

On Friday night, Hawaii Congressman Mark Takai met with the JACL delegation and presented Todd Endo and his wife Paula with flower and kukui nut lei, continuing a tradition that began in 1965 when lei were given to civil rights leaders in a gesture of friendship and goodwill before the third Selma to Montgomery march. Congressman Takai and Hawaii Senator Mazie Hirono have arranged for 150 lei to be shipped from Hawaii to Selma for the 50th Anniversary events taking place this weekend.

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Hawaii Congressman Mark Takai (3rd from Left) with Todd Endo (Center) and the JACL delegation to Selma.

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