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Catholic Clergy Members Get Early Look At MLK Memorial

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Sister Antona Ebo, of the Franciscan Sisters of Mary in St. Louis, Mo., was one of six nuns who marched on Selma, Ala., in 1965. Her story is chronicled in the documentary "Sisters of Selma: Bearing Witness for Change." She was among the clergy members touring the site of the Martin Luther King Memorial on July 27.
Jessica Palombo
Sister Antona Ebo, of the Franciscan Sisters of Mary in St. Louis, Mo., was one of six nuns who marched on Selma, Ala., in 1965. Her story is chronicled in the documentary "Sisters of Selma: Bearing Witness for Change." She was among the clergy members touring the site of the Martin Luther King Memorial on July 27.

Sister Antona Ebo ministers in Saint Louis, Mo. these days, but in 1965, she was marching alongside Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. for voting rights in Selma, Alabama. She was one of six nuns at the front of the line, but the only one who was African-American.

"They didn't have to worry if they got arrested, but I did," she says. "I would be in a separate but unequal jail." Ebo's story is chronicled in the PBS documentary "Sisters of Selma: Bearing Witness for Change."

Ebo was one of about 75 black Catholic nuns and priests from around the country who toured the memorial on Wednesday.

Sister Gayle Lwanga Crumbley, who ministers in Silver Spring, says the memorial celebrates an American hero.

"I particularly like that King is remembered as a drum major for justice," she says. "That is so important even now. It's timeless."

Construction continues at the site, which is located on the tidal basin. The memorial will be dedicated Aug. 28, the anniversary of the day King gave his "I Have a Dream" speech at the Lincoln Memorial, only a few minutes' walk away.

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