Remembering Bloody Sunday

Moving forward requires learning from the mistakes of the past.  Or as poet and philosopher George Santayana stated, “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.”

March 7, 1965 was bloody Sunday in Selma, Alabama.

On February 18, 1965, an Alabama State Trooper, Corporal James Bonard Fowler, shot Jimmie Lee Jackson as he trieBloody Sunday - March 7, 1965: Police await demonstratorsd to protect his mother and grandfather in a café to which they had fled while being attacked by troopers during a nighttime civil rights demonstration in Marion, county seat of Perry County. Jackson died eight days later, of an infection resulting from the gunshot wound, at Selma’s Good Samaritan Hospital.

In response, James Bevel (Director of Direct Action and Nonviolent Education) called for a march from Selma-to-Montgomery, which occurred on March 7, 1965 when 525 to 600 civil rights marchers headed east out of Selma on U.S. Highway 80.

The March to Montgomery had a significant impact on public opinion. Within five months of the third march, President Lyndon Johnson signed the Voting Rights Act of 1965 on August 6th at a ceremony attended by many civil rights leaders and activists, including Amelia Boynton of Selma. This act prohibited most of the unfair practices used to prevent blacks from registering to vote, and provided for federal registrars to go to Alabama and other states with a history of voting-related discrimination to ensure that the law was implemented. In 1960, there were only 53,336 black voters in Alabama, by 1990 this number had risen to 537,285. In Selma, with more than 7,000 blacks added to the voting rolls Sheriff Jim Clark was voted out of office in 1966 (he later served a prison sentence for drug-smuggling). (MORE)

In March 18 yrs later U2 released Sunday Bloody Sunday about another Bloody Sunday.

 

 

 

 Give Peace a Chance!

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About robertstevenson

Dr. Robert Stevenson is a Professor of Journalism and Director of Student Publications for the Department of Mass Communications and Theater at Lander University in Greenwood, SC. He received the Distinguished Faculty of the Year award for 2007-'08, and the Lander University Young Faculty Scholar Award in 2005-06. Stevenson also serves as chair of the Lander University American Democracy Project. First and Formost I am a dad of two wonderful boys.
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2 Responses to Remembering Bloody Sunday

  1. Robin Easton says:

    This is such a deeply moving post. I have tears in my eyes. Thank you from my heart for posting it. So important. I cannot fathom that the color of one’s skin decided their right to vote. I know it happened but, Rob, I just can’t wrap my mind around such archaic thinking. And today we finally have an African American in the white house. I wish Malcolm X and Martin Luther were here to see it. How much it means to people of colored skin the world over. They wept, all over the world. How much it means to me. The song is so powerful. Very dramatic post. I’m proud of you. Very much so.

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