On the weekend of Dec. 6, Oprah Winfrey hosted the “Celebrating Selma & The Legends Who Paved The Way” festival of events in Santa Barbara, California. The event was held to honor the upcoming film Selma and to celebrate the lives of iconic civil rights heroes who fought in the civil rights movement and those from the entertainment and arts industry who contributed to African American history.
(Images: Courtesy of Harpo Studios, Inc.)
The first part of the event took place on Saturday at the Arlington Theatre with an exclusive screening of Selma. Afterwards, the honorees were saluted at the Bacara Resort & Spa. On Sunday, Oprah hosted a private gospel brunch at her home in Santa Barbara, where gospel singer Bebe Winans performed.
Honorees included Ambassador Andrew Young, Berry Gordy, Rev. C.T. Vivian, Diane Nash, Dick Gregory, Rev. Jesse Jackson Sr., Congressman John Lewis, Rev. Joseph Lowery, Juanita Jones Abernathy, Julian Bond, Marian Wright Edelman, Myrlie Evers-Williams, Quincy Jones, Sidney Poitier, and Harry Belafonte, who was not able to attend.
Check out more photos from the event:
Selma was produced by both Paramount Pictures and Pathé and Harpo Films. The film depicts the 1965 Selma to Montgomery protests in Alabama of those brave heroes who fought for equal voting rights. The film premieres nationwide Jan. 9, 2015. Oprah, a producer for the movie, portrayed Annie Lee Cooper, one of the contributing civil rights activists. These marches led to the passage of the 1965 Voting Rights Act, which prohibited discriminatory voting practices and protected the voting rights of African Americans.