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Local Selma Marcher: 'Whatever Is Coming, You've Got My Feet'

The Selma to Montgomery March in 1965. Martin Luther King, Jr. is at center.
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The Selma to Montgomery March in 1965. Martin Luther King, Jr. is at center.

In March 1965, Steven Graves was studying in a Unitarian seminary in Chicago when he learned Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was asking people from around the country to gather in Selma, Alabama, to march for voting rights for black people.

Graves asked himself an important question that would change his life path.

“What are you going to do about it? And I said that's more important than these theological books; whatever is coming, you’ve got my feet,” Graves said, speaking with Jeannie Yandel at his home in West Seattle for KUOW’s The Record.

[asset-images[{"caption": "Steve Graves marched in Selma, Alabama in 1965.", "fid": "116253", "style": "offset_left", "uri": "public://201503/SteveGraves.JPG", "attribution": "Credit KUOW Photo/Jeannie Yandel"}]]Fifty years later, Graves recalled the experience of that historic march. “I had a black kid's elbow on my one side and a young white nun from somewhere in America on my other elbow," he said. "We sang ‘We Shall Overcome’ like we've never sung it before or since,” he said.

Listen to the audio to hear more of his account and what he thinks about racism in present-day America. 

Produced for the Web by Kara McDermott.