On Bloody Sunday, March 7, 1965, Martin Luther King Jr. made Selma, Alabama, the focus of its efforts to register black voters in the South. The people who marched from Selma to the state capital of Montgomery were met with violent resistance by state and local authorities. On March 9, 1965, Dr. King led another attempt, but he turned them around because the state troopers had the road blocked. Viola Luizzo, a white mother of five from Detroit, was assassinated on the night of March 25, 1965, by the Klu Klux Klan(KKK) members.
Dr. King had led thousands of blacks and whites in the march to prove a point that racism needed to change. So they marched from Selma, Alabama to Montgomery, Alabama to stand their ground.
2015 March Information
In March of 2015, marchers were commemorating the 1965 Selma to Montgomery march. In 2015, they walked in the footsteps of the brave men and women who fought during the Civil Rights Movement. Today the journey continues.
Who were a few of the famous people at the 2015 march?
President Obama and his family, Common(the rapper), Oprah Winfrey, John Legend, Ava DuVernay, and David Oyelowo were among many famous people who attended the 2015 march.
President Obama’s Speech Before Going on the Edmund Pettus Bridge
“In one afternoon fifty years ago, so much of our turbulent history – the stain of slavery and anguish of civil war; the yoke of segregation and tyranny of Jim Crow; the death of four little girls in Birmingham, and the dream of a Baptist preacher – met on this bridge. It was not a clash of armies, but a clash of wills; a contest to determine the meaning of America.”
“We gather here to celebrate them. We gather here to honor the courage of ordinary Americans willing to endure billy clubs and the chastening rod; tear gas and the trampling hoof; men and women who despite the gush of blood and splintered bone would stay true to their North Star and keep marching toward justice.”
“What they did here will reverberate through the ages. Not because the change they won was preordained; not because their victory was complete; but because they proved that nonviolent change is possible; that love and hope can conquer hate.”
“And yet, what could be more American than what happened in this place? What could more profoundly vindicate the idea of America than plain and humble people – the unsung, the downtrodden, the dreamers not of high station, not born to wealth or privilege, not of one religious tradition but many – coming together to shape their country’s course?”
“First and foremost, we have to recognize that one day’s commemoration, no matter how special, is not enough. If Selma taught us anything, it’s that our work is never done – the American experiment in self-government gives work and purpose to each generation.”
“And that’s what the young people here today and listening all across the country must take away from this day. You are America. Unconstrained by habits and convention. Unencumbered by what is, and ready to seize what ought to be. For everywhere in this country, there are first steps to be taken, and new ground to cover, and bridges to be crossed. And it is you, the young and fearless at heart, the most diverse and educated generation in our history, who the nation is waiting to follow. Because Selma shows us that America is not the project of any one person.”