Alice Zelma Harris

Alice Zelma Harris A legendary drum majorette for civil rights and social justice, was born April 8, 1928 in Foley Alabama and died November 13, 2010 in Marysville, California. Zelma met her ultimate goal of Rest In Peace at home. Zelma was born in the rigidly segregated state of Alabama. Both of her parents raised her to defy racism and to know and live like a citizen of the United States, Zelma's academic career from elementary, high school, and as a student at Alabama State University was stellar with the highest academic achievement. Zelma was one of thousands on the evening of December 5, 1955 who gathered at the Holt Street Baptist Church where Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. called for the protest for the arrest of Mrs. Rosa Parks. Zelma with her 3 young children, participated in the Montgomery Bus Boycott which lasted for 381 days. Zelma moved to Marysville, California in August 1958. She quickly adapted to being a United States Air Force military wife, got her children enrolled in Notre Dame Elementary School. She volunteered at Note Dame and worked at the school in the early years. The majority of her work career was an employee at Sutter County Courthouse. Noteworthy, Zelma was one of the founding members of the Union for Sutter County. Zelma was extremely active in local, state, national, and international politics. She engaged in all elections on numerous levels. She attended every school board meeting for more than 30 years. She was a fixture at Marysville City Hall. For more than forty years, Zelma wrote Senator Edward Kennedy as an advocate for Universal Healthcare. Zelma lived to see President Barack Obama elected and Healthcare legislation passed. Zelma was a tireless advocate for civil liberties, education, equality access, prison reform, job creation, democratic principles, restorative justice, and human rights, against capital punishment, women's rights, and the homeless. Zelma embodied all the exemplary qualities of character of being a model mother. She scarified and worked 3 jobs at times to ensure that her children's needs were met. She courageously stood up to ensure that her children would not experience brutal racism. The loving and compassionate mother is survived by her children, Alice Delois Johnson, Brenda, Cobie (Kwasi), Robert, Vernell Junior, Raymond, Michael, 3 daughter-in-laws, 12 grandchildren, 5 great- grandchildren, and residents of the city of Marysville who knew and loved her. A celebration of life memorial will be held at Bethel AME, November 23, at 1pm. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to a charity of your choice. Send Condolences to

Published in Appeal Democrat from Nov. 19 to Nov. 20, 2010