Rachel West Milhouse
334-872-6031 or 334-875-2874
I am the co-author of the novel Selma, Lord, Selma (later made into a Disney film of the same name).
Alice M. West
2116 Church St.
Selma, AL 36701
In 1965, after Dr. King, SCLC, and SNCC came to Selma, my husband, my family, and I made our home welcome to all "outside agitators" as they were called.
I will be glad to share my knowledge about the Civil Rights Movement.
"I would like to tell you what a day like "Bloody Sunday" was, and how it affected me and my family. The mass meeting at Brown Chapel, the National Guard almost in my back yard behind Brown Church, and finally the peaceful march and climax ending in Mrs. Liuzzo's death.
Jon Daniels was a part of my family, we all loved him and trusted him. He taught my family all about the wonders of God's love. His death took a toll on my family as well as all the Black people in Selma, AL.
We have come a long way. But maybe we can continue to move forward to make this a better world for all people."
The Living History Exhibit of the Voting Rights Museum and Institute:
Born and reared in Selma. Mrs. Alice West is one of 3 children born. to Mr. and Mrs. Malachi Mactin. In 1946, she married Lonzy West and out of this union 11 children were born. Among them are Mark West, Selma [City] Councilman, and Rachel West Nelson, co-author of Selma, Lord, Selma. She is a devoted member of Queen of Peace Catholic Church.
Mrs. West is a product of the Selma City School System, so she has always been committed to providing a better future the children in Selma. She joined the movement in 1965, with her husband. Mrs. West became a registered voter on April 19, 1965, along with Ms. Stephanie Clark, started a citizen crusade to prepare people to take the test for voter registration. She assisted more than 300 people to register during that time.
She participated in many marches including the Selma to Montgomery March. Her major contribution was housing and feeding many involved in the movement. The most memorable was Jonathan Daniels. He resided her home along with her family until his death in 1965.
Other welcomed guests during the movement included: John Lewis, Stokely Carmichael, H. Rap Brown, Andrew Young, Julian Bond, James Orange, Rev. Richard Boone, Rev. James Bevel, Kim Lederer, and Frank Siracco. Young SNCC workers found Mrs. West's home to be a safe haven from the struggle that Selma was enduring. As a result of her kindness, her home became the second Freedom Rights Home.
Through her love for nurturing, she co-founded and ran a child development center for under-privileged children. In honor of a devoted hero, she renamed it the Jonathan Daniels Daycare Center after his untimely death. She retired from the center as Assistant Director in 1982. After retirement, Marie Foster appointed her as a deputy register. She continues to serve in this capacity today. Currently she is a licensed home day-care provider and is certified in early childhood development from Auburn University and the University of Alabama.
Of her many honors, Mrs. West is most proud of the influence she has had in the development of her family. She raised all of her children in Selma and she continues to reside here as the proud mother of 32 grandchildren and 14 great-grandchildren.