Written By: Michael Jonvier Fanning (@HeyMikeyATL)
The Civil Rights Era was indeed a time of great change and momentum for African-Americans. Over the course of a decade, men and women of color moved from second class citizens to full-fledged Americans. Thanks to desegregation, the integration of public schools, and The Voting Rights Act; which allowed them to exercise their right to vote. Still, even though these accomplishments were historically fulfilled; they came at the cost of lives, brutality, and hate crimes. One such event of brutality occurred in Selma, Alabama at Sixteenth Street Baptist Church. There, four African-American girls lost their lives in a bombing! This vile act compelled Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and his circle to choose Selma as their next battleground for voting rights.
As we all know, these little girls have gone down in history as martyrs for The Struggle. Now, thanks to the powerfully inspirational film, Selma, we are reacquainted with the tragic story via a few wonderful actresses; one of them being the lovely Jordan Rice! Jordan is an up and coming star, determined to make her mark on Hollywood one role at a time. Her role in Selma is her first , and is one amazing start to what will be an even more amazing career. “I’m honored to be able to portray her [one of the girls killed in the church bombing]…it really makes me sad that people were so hateful that they would do something like that…” Indeed, that moment in history will go down in infamy. When you see Jordan in the film, you will quite literally jump out of your seat from the graphic nature of the scene.
Jordan has always wanted to be an actress and feels she is now living her dream. She landed her role in Selma after being in a play that centered on the church bombing. “They saw us [she and three other girls] in the play and had us come out to audition…two of us made it…” For her scene, she and the other girls were strapped to harnesses that made it look as if they were literally flying through the air from the explosion. “It was intense and we even had to be covered in dirt all over!” She admits watching her scene was difficult and so did her mother; “I admit it threw me! To think that is my child and then realizing a mother went through that is just heartbreaking…that’s the brilliance of Ava DuVernay you really feel everything those people went through…”
Recently she was even featured in O! Magazine. “I didn’t even know I was going to be in the magazine so when I found out about it I was so excited and happy. I mean O! Magazine is a big deal!” Jordan did not get meet Oprah Winfrey, but has been at all the premieres for the film and met the other members of the cast. “No I didn’t get to meet her, but I am sure I will soon…I’m really thankful to her for producing it…more films like this need to be made so we never forget our history…” These powerful words and the realization that she stands on the shoulders of giants have made her into an activist. She promises to do her part in the present day fight against injustice and for racial equality.
Parts of Selma are admittedly graphic and violent, but Jordan is glad the reenactments were as true as possible to the original event. She encourages to still take their children for educational purposes and to honor those fallen in Selma. “This is history and everyone needs to know about it…this is definitely something kids need to see and know about…I learned so much new information just from watching it!” Jordan likens the protests and brutality from law enforcement to the today’s incidents involving the police. “The people in Selma were just peacefully marching like most of the people today were doing…the incidents happening today really scare me and I am more scared for my brother…it just reminds you that we have to keep moving forward!” Indeed, moving forward is what Jordan is all about. She does not have any upcoming projects at the moment, but is allowing God to direct her in the right path. Despite being a Big Screen star she insists she has not been infected with a “divatude.” “I’m still the same person and I don’t feel its changed me. I’m Jordan. I still have chores, have friends, I’m still a neighbor…I just so happened to be in a movie!” You can catch Jordan Rice’s acting debut in Selma on January 9th, nationwide, in theaters everywhere! If you are social media savvy stay up with her on Facebook by clicking the following link, http://www.facebook.com/actressjordanrice and follow her on Instagram @actressjordanrice!