CARTER-JONES FAMILY POEM
We are family;
to God, we say merci!
Carters and Jones-Jones and Carters,
they were the initial starters.
We look back over the years,
with pride, happiness, and tears.
Those who have gone before us,
they never gave up in disgust.
Our footsteps of service are seen;
our commitments are impossible to contravene.
We ask God to hold our hands,
because He gives all commands.
Look around, what do you see?
People, Carters and Jones, are leading by example, as to how life should be.
We sacrifice, toil, and strive;
we operate with relentless drive.
Like lions we roar, and
like eagles we soar.
With humility go on and confess,
that each generation of Carter-Jones God does bless!
Copyright © 2002. All rights reserved.
Written by Vicki Craig, Esquire
Fifth generation descendant
Ms. Craig’s poem was published in the 2002 Carter-Jones Family Reunion Souvenir Booklet. The family reunion (held every two years in different cities) was in Atlanta, Georgia. The extraordinary fortitude of her family is the essence of Ms. Craig’s poem. Ms. Craig’s inspiration for this poem came from her grandmother, who hails from the Carter branch of the family tree. Her beloved grandmother, a third generation descendant, was ninety-nine years old, at the time of her death..
On October 22, 2000, Vicki Craig's grandmother, Mrs. Clara Carter Mitchell, a retired health care worker (born in 1907), was honored as an Invisible Giant (unsung hero) by the National Voting Rights Museum & Institute (NVRMI) in historic Selma, Alabama, the same museum which honored President William Jefferson Clinton with an award on March 4, 2007. Although Mrs. Mitchell was recognized for her contributions to the Civil Rights Movement there was no way recognition could not be given for the same diligence, commitment, and leadership exhibited by her for so many years in Selma, Alabama vis-a-vis involvement in community service and dedicated health care service, as noted during the program, enumerated in her biography, and evidenced by her numerous plaques, awards, and certificates which were vividly displayed during the program. During the program, Mrs. Mitchell was honored with a Resolution from the Alabama State Legislature. In addition, Mrs. Mitchell was honored with the key to the city of Selma by the Mayor. Mrs. Mitchell has always been a very strong presence in the city of Selma and has always been revered as the matriarch of Vicki Craig's family. The treasured program sponsored by the National Voting Rights Museum & Institute (NVRMI) will always be a memorable event, especially for Mrs. Mitchell and her family.
The Selma Times Journal Sunday, November 19, 2000
We are proud to know that the efforts of Vicki Craig's grandmother and countless others led to the historic enactment of The Voting Rights Act of 1965 signed by President Lyndon B. Johnson on August 6, 1965.
Mrs. Clara Carter Mitchell
Vicki Craig's beloved grandmother
My grandmother’s life inspired me to write Letters to God.
On March 7, 2015, the documentary, Selma: The Bridge to the Ballot, premiered at the Performing Arts Center in Montgomery, Alabama. The film was produced by the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) and Bill Brummel Productions, Inc., a Hollywood production company. The main focus of the film was on the students and teachers who participated in the Civil Rights Movement in Selma, Alabama in 1965 for the right to vote. My mother, Mrs. Sarah Carter Craig, is one of the teachers featured in the film. She was interviewed for the documentary, when the production company came to Selma in 2014. When you watch the film, you will see the name Sarah Carter Craig. When the name Sarah Carter Craig appears, the Oscar winning actress, Octavia Spencer, narrates, but the words are what my mother said during the interview. My mother does not appear in the film. My mother's words are in the film. The purpose of the documentary is to teach tolerance and enlighten the youth about the historical significance of the 1965 marches from Selma, Alabama to Montgomery, Alabama. The documentary was an official part of the 50th Anniversary celebration of "Bloody Sunday". The film is very powerful and dynamic. The film is not available for purchase. It was distributed to schools throughout the U.S. Our copy of the film, as well as, the attendance at the premiere, where my mother was honored, will always be treasured by our family.
On February 24, 2016, my mother, Mrs. Sarah Carter Craig, received the highest civilian honor that Congress can bestow, the Congressional Gold Medal. The Congressional Gold Medal was awarded to the "foot soldiers" of the Voting Rights Movement of the Civil Rights Movement, who participated in the 1965 Selma to Montgomery marches to highlight the struggle for voting rights. The Congressional Gold Medal was presented during a ceremony at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C. and was awarded by U.S. Representatives Terri Sewell of Alabama, who represents Selma, Alabama, her historic hometown, and John Lewis of Georgia. "All House and Senate leaders, including Speaker Paul Ryan, Mitch McConnell, Nancy Pelosi, and Harry Reid participated in the ceremony."
The Selma Times Journal Wednesday, February 24, 2016
The Selma Times Journal Sunday, February 28, 2016
The ceremony will always be treasured by Mrs. Craig and her family. We are proud to know that the efforts of Vicki Craig's mother and countless others led to the historic enactment of The Voting Rights Act of 1965 signed by President Lyndon B. Johnson on August 6, 1965.
Mrs. Sarah Carter Craig
Vicki Craig's beloved mother
Vicki Craig gives credit to her mother, father, and grandmother for being reared in a religious environment vis-a-vis the home, school (religious academy), and church.
Copyright 2020. Vicki Craig. All rights reserved.