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SELMA TO MONTGOMERY

The Selma to Montgomery marches were three protest marches held in 1965, along the 54-mile (87 km) highway from Selma, Alabama to the state capital of Montgomery.

The marches were organized by nonviolent activists to demonstrate the desire of African-American citizens to exercise their constitutional right to vote, in defiance of segregationist repression, and were part of a broader voting rights movement.

THE FIRST MARCH took place on March 7, 1965, and resulted in "Bloody Sunday", as state troopers and county possemen attacked the unarmed marchers with billy clubs and tear gas as soon as they passed the county line, which is on the now famous Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma.

THE SECOND MARCH took place March 9 and included many sympathizers from the rest of the country. Troopers, police, and marchers confronted each other, but when the troopers stepped aside to let them pass, Martin Luther King led the marchers back to the church. In the aftermath of the march, James Reeb, an activist and minister from Boston, was murdered.

The violence of Bloody Sunday and the killing of James Reeb resulted in a national outcry and lead to a third march.

THE THIRD MARCH started March 21, averaged 10 miles (16 km) a day along U.S. Route 80, and lead to the Alabama State Capitol on March 25. With Governor Wallace refusing to protect the marchers, President Johnson committed to do so.

With thousands having joined the campaign, 25,000 people entered the capital city that day in support of voting rights. By highlighting racial injustice, they contributed to passage that year of the Voting Rights Act, a landmark federal achievement of the Civil Rights Movement.

(notes adapted from Wikipedia, here)


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THIS PICTURE shows part of a street art wall in Montgomery commemorating the event.

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song title reference: The Staple Singers

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Additional Photos by Benny Verbercht (BennyV) Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2815 W: 35 N: 5734] (30602)
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