By Ashley Childs
Dewayne Wickham, Dean of Morgan’s School of Global Journalism and Communication, traveled in style to Selma, Alabama, to commemorate Bloody Sunday’s 50th anniversary this week. He flew on Air Force One.
President Barack Obama invited Wickham and four other African American journalists to a roundtable aboard the jet as it flew to Selma. Wickham described riding on Air Force One as “amazing” and “a thrill of a lifetime.” He added: “When the president steps on the plane, it becomes the White House.”
This wasn’t the first time Wickham met President Obama. Throughout President Obama’s time in office, Wickham covered him as a journalist and even met the president while he was still a senator.
On the plane, the five reporters had a wide-ranging conversation with the President about everything from voting rights to Ferguson to a post-racial America.
When they arrived, President Obama spoke to the crowd at the civil rights commemoration and although Dean Wickham wasn’t surprised by the speech he said, “I was moved by the things he said.”
Bloody Sunday was a horrible day in American history. Wickham said that as a black man who grew up 60’s, being in Selma was a “a very emotional moment for me [because] I understood the historical importance.”
According to The New York Times there were over 40,000 people at the march which took place on the Edmund Pettus Bridge. Wickham called the honored celebration a “historical event,” and added that there was a “broad range of people, from the president to dirt poor black farmers that came with tears in their eyes.”