Sunday, April 7, 2019

Selma, Alabama - the Movie and the City

Throughout March of 1965, a group of demonstrators faced violence as they attempted to march from Selma, Alabama, to Montgomery, Alabama, to demand the right to vote for black people. 

One of the pivotal days was March 7, when 17 people were injured by police, including future Congressman John Lewis.  At least 50 protestors required hospital treatment.  The brutality that was displayed on this day was captured by the media; however, the media was held back as the protesters retreated, the violence continued for some time.  The attack caused outrage around the country.

The civil rights protestors sought and received an injunction for another march, which was granted by Judge Frank M. Johnson, Jr. on March 17. On March 21 the official Selma to March began with the final number of supports reaching near 25,000 people on March 25.  Five months later, President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the Voting Rights Act which prohibits discrimination in voting practices or procedures because of race and color.

The Movie “SELMA”
The unforgettable true story chronicles the tumultuous three-month period in 1965 when Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. led a dangerous campaign to secure equal voting rights in the face of violent opposition.  The movie shows scenes from the “Bloody Sunday” in Selma.

The epic march from Selma to Montgomery, the Capital of Alabama is one of the most significant victories for the civil rights movement.

See a short movie trailer:


Selma, the city west of Montgomery, AL, visited also by Oprah, 
Mark Zuckerberg, Hillary Clinton, and recently myself : )

A lovely, quiet place on the banks of the Alabama River with very friendly people. One can’t imagine it was the place of the March 7, 1965 “Bloody Sunday”.  State troopers and deputies were beating and gassing African Americans and white sympathizers near the Edmund Pettus Bridge.  Just because they wanted to march the 54-mile trail for their right to vote…

I arrived too late in the afternoon to visit the National Voting Rights Museum or the Enslavement Civil War Museum.

But I walked all over town and took lots of photos. I wish I would be a billionaire and buy some of the empty houses on Main Street or the old hotel and bring them back to life.
And preserve the amazing history of this city.

There is even a ghost town, the “Old Cahawba”, Alabama's most famous ghost town. In 1819 the town was carved out of the wilderness to be the state's first capital. Although the state changed the location of the capital in 1826 to Montgomery, Cahawba continued to grow into a thriving and wealthy river town. By 1870, however, the population diminished to 300. By the turn of the century, most of Cahawba's buildings were lost to fire, decay, or dismantlement.

Sturdivant Hall, a historic Greek Revival mansion had been turned into a museum and belongs to the National Historic Places. It is situated right in downtown Selma.

When planning your visit to the Trail, allow sufficient time to stop and see the sites, cross the bridge, and learn more about the century-long struggle for civil and voting rights that ultimately led to the passage of the landmark Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965.

To begin your tour, start at the Selma Interpretive Center (2 Broad St.).  Strategically located at the foot of the Edmund Pettus Bridge, the center serves as an introduction to the National Historic Trail.  The center features brochures, videos, exhibits and a small bookstore to explore.

As you stroll through this three-story building, you will hear stories of courage, hate, triumph, fear, and hope that undergirded a journey of a hundred years by African Americans to gain the right to vote.



1 comment:

  1. Thank you for this wonderful, historical mini tour Doris. A timely reminder. :)