Like many young adults in Alabama, most members of GBM’s Not-Junior Board (NJB) were largely unaware of the oppressive influence Alabama’s 1901 Constitution continues to exert on the daily lives of our state’s citizens. The original intent of the Constitution’s framers deliberations and some of today’s ramifications became clear as several NJB members viewed “Open Secret”, a film by Melanie Jeffcoat based on the verbatim transcripts of Alabama’s 1901 Constitutional Convention. The disturbing realities portrayed in the film motivated NJB members to join GBM and the NAACP in their collaborative Magic City Classic Parade float project to raise awareness of the origins of the 1901 Constitution.
NJB members wanted to demonstrate the often racially motivated inequities written into the Constitution, especially the lack of a right to public education. NJB members wanted to show that this right needs to be firmly established despite – or perhaps as a result of – the work of the Alabama Constitutional Revision Commission. For these reasons and many others, these members of the NJB join their voice to the sustained call of GBM, the Alabama NAACP and other partners for a new state constitution, written this time by the people and for the benefit of all Alabamians.