Selma Maart

Selma Maart


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Na die moord op Jimmie Lee Jackson tydens die kieserregistrasie deur die Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC), is besluit om die behoefte aan 'n federale registrasiewet te dramatiseer. Met die hulp van Martin Luther King en Ralph David Abernathy van die Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC), het leiers van die SCCC 'n protesoptog van Selma na die hoofstad se gebou in Montgomery, Alabama, gereël. Die eerste optog op 1 Februarie 1965 het gelei tot die arrestasie van 770 mense. 'N Tweede optog, gelei deur John Lewis en Hosea Williams, op 7 Maart, is deur berede polisie aangeval. Die aanskoue van staatstroepe wat nagstokkies en traangas gebruik, is deur televisiekameras opgeneem en die geleentheid het as Bloody Sunday bekend geword.

Martin Luther King het twee dae later nog 'n optog van 1500 mense gelei. Nadat hulle die Pettus -brug oorgesteek het, het die optoggangers 'n versperring van staatstroepe gehad. King het baie van sy jonger volgelinge teleurgestel toe hy besluit om terug te keer om 'n konfrontasie met die troepe te vermy. Kort daarna is een van die wit predikante op die optog, James J. Reeb, vermoor.

President Lyndon B. Johnson besluit nou om aksie te neem en stuur troepe, marshalle en FBI -agente om die betogers te beskerm. Op Donderdag 25 Maart het King 25 000 mense na die Alabama State Capitol gelei en 'n petisie aan goewerneur George Wallace oorhandig waarin hy stemreg vir Afro -Amerikaners eis. Daardie aand vermoor die Ku Klux Klan Viola Liuzzo terwyl hy van die optog terugkeer.

Op 6 Augustus 1965 onderteken Lyndon B. Johnson die stemregwet. Dit het die reg van state verwyder om beperkings op te lê aan wie in verkiesings mag stem. Johnson het verduidelik hoe: "Elke Amerikaanse burger 'n gelyke stemreg moet hê. Tog is die harde feit dat op baie plekke in hierdie land mans en vroue verhinder word om te stem bloot omdat hulle negers is." Die wetgewing het die nasionale regering nou gemagtig om diegene te registreer wat die state geweier het om op die stemlys te plaas.

Nou wil ek 'n vraag aan die blanke burgers van Alabama stel. Hoe lank kan u aanhou om die luukse van 'n politieke stelsel en openbare amptenare te bekostig wat deur hul styfheid en vulgêre rassisme vandag verantwoordelik was vir die inbring van federale beheerde troepe? Wie vandag en môre nog meer, sal hierdie staat miljoene dollars kos vir federale fondse vir onderwys, gesondheid, welsyn, landbou, ens. Hoe lank, hoe lank sal u aanhou om die slagoffers te wees van hierdie selfvernietigende dwaasheid? Ek sê dat u nie hierdie luukse kan bekostig nie.

Die belangrikste funksie van die huidige negerbeweging was om die gewete van 'n land wakker te maak.

So 'n ontwaking is pynlik. Dit kan jare neem om die lae van selfbedrog wat die werklikheid uitsluit, weg te trek. Maar daar is oomblikke tydens hierdie proses wanneer die sintuie van 'n hele nasie skielik skerper word, wanneer pyn instroom en die gevolglike verontwaardiging tot aksie oorgaan. Een van hierdie oomblikke kom, nie op Sondag 7 Maart nie, toe 'n groep negers by Selma vergas, geklouter en vertrap word deur perde, maar die volgende dag toe films van die gebeurtenis op nasionale televisie verskyn.

Die foto's was nie besonder goed nie. Omdat die kameras nogal ver verwyderd was van die aksie en die lug gedeeltelik bewolk het, het alles wat gebeur het die kwaliteit van 'n ou nuusverhaal aangeneem. Tog het hierdie einste kwaliteit, vaag en half gesilhouet, die toneel die heftigheid en onmiddellikheid van 'n droom gegee. Die TV -skerm wys 'n kolom negers wat langs 'n snelweg staan. 'N Mag van die staatstroepe in Alabama het hul pad versper. Terwyl die negers tot stilstand kom, trek 'n toonlose stem 'n bevel van 'n luidspreker: In die belang van 'openbare veiligheid' word die optoggangers aangesê om terug te draai. 'N Paar oomblikke gaan verby, gemeet in stilte, terwyl sommige van die soldate hul gesig met gasmaskers bedek. Daar was 'n swaai beweging aan die linkerkant van die skerm; 'n swaar gekwalifiseerde troepe het reguit in die kolom gelaai en die optoggangers geboul.

'N Skrillende kreet van verskrikking, anders as enige geluid wat deur 'n TV -toestel gegaan het, het opgestaan ​​terwyl die troepe vorentoe wankel en soms op gevalle lyke struikel. Die toneel het begin om perde te laai, met hul hoewe oor die gevalle. Nog 'n vinnige snit: 'n wolk traangas woel oor die snelweg. Van tyd tot tyd kom die bokant van 'n helmkop uit die wolk, gevolg deur 'n klub wat opwaarts was. Die klub en die kop sou in die gaswolk verdwyn en 'n ander klub sou op en af ​​skommel.

Onmenslik. Geen ander woord kan die bewegings beskryf nie. Die prentjie skuif vinnig na 'n negerkerk. Die bloeding, gebroke en bewusteloos het oor die skerm gegaan, sommige van hulle mank alleen, ander ondersteun aan weerskante, nog ander gedra in arms of op brakke. Dit was op hierdie punt dat my vrou snikkend omdraai en wegstap en sê: "Ek kan nie meer kyk nie."

Daar was nooit 'n oomblik in die Amerikaanse geskiedenis eerbiediger en inspirerender as die pelgrimstog van predikante en leke van elke ras en geloof wat in Selma stort nie en die gevaar in die gesig staar aan die kant van sy negers.

Konfrontasie van goed en kwaad wat in die klein Selma -gemeenskap saamgeperste is, het die enorme krag genereer om die hele nasie na 'n nuwe weg te keer. 'N President gebore in die Suide het die sensitiwiteit om die wil van die land te voel, en in 'n toespraak wat in die geskiedenis sal lewe as een van die mees passievolle pleidooie vir menseregte wat ooit deur 'n president van ons land gemaak is, het hy die mag van die federale regering om die eeue-oue roes weg te gooi. President Johnson het tereg die moed van die neger geprys omdat hy die gewete van die land wakker gemaak het.

Van ons kant moet ons die blanke Amerikaners wat hul demokratiese tradisies koester oor die lelike gebruike en voorregte van generasies baie diep respekteer en met vrymoedigheid na vore kom om ons hande te vat. Van Montgomery tot Birmingham, van Birmingham tot Selma, van Selma terug na Montgomery, 'n spoorwond in 'n sirkel en dikwels bloedig, maar dit het 'n snelweg geword uit die duisternis. Alabama het probeer om die kwaad te koester en te verdedig, maar die euwel verstik dood in die stofpaaie en strate van hierdie staat.

Ek staan ​​dus vanmiddag voor u met die oortuiging dat segregasie op sy sterfbed in Alabama is, en die enigste ding wat onseker is, is hoe duur die segregasie en Wallace die begrafnis sal wees.

Ons hele veldtog in Alabama was rondom die stemreg gefokus. Deur die aandag van die nasie en die wêreld vandag te vestig op die flagrante ontkenning van die stemreg, onthul ons die oorsprong, die oorsaak, van rasseskeiding in die Suidland.


Hierdie ikoniese foto's van die Selma -mars van 1965 gee 'n kragtige blik op die historiese protes

Die rassespanning wat Alabama in die sestigerjare aangegryp het, het gelei tot sommige van die mees ikoniese oomblikke van die burgerregtebeweging wat mettertyd vasgelê en oorvertel is.

Die optog van 1965 van Selma na Montgomery was waarskynlik een van die meer historiese gebeure - en dit het hernieude fokus op en bewustheid van die ongelooflike stryd om stemreg veroorsaak, wat onlangs deur die lens van regisseur Ava Duvernay en haar film "Selma. ”

Nou wil 'n ander kunstenaar ook meer insig uit die voorste linies van dieselfde protes deel, wat 'n hoogtepunt was in die stryd om rassegelykheid en sosiale geregtigheid.

Fotograaf Stephen Somerstein het die Selma-demonstrasie beskryf deur 'n reeks beelde wat die gebeure wat tydens die optog van 54 myl plaasgevind het, outentiek beskryf.

"Toe dr King die Amerikaners versoek het om saam met hom 'n massiewe protesoptog na Montgomery te neem, het ek geweet dat 'n belangrike, nasieveranderende geskiedenis besig was om te ontvou en ek wou die krag en betekenis daarvan met my kamera vasvang," het Somerstein gesê. die besturende redakteur en prentredakteur van die studentekoerant van die City College van New York.

Somerstein het meer as 400 foto's geneem tydens die vyf dae lange optog. 'N Spesiale vertoonvenster van die New-York Historical Society, wat verlede jaar te sien was, bevat 'n seleksie van 46 van die ikoniese beelde.

Intussen het die historiese samelewing 'n paar van die foto's van die optog uitsluitlik met The Huffington Post gedeel om u 'n blik te gee op die destydse werklikheid en die kragtige oomblikke wat plaasgevind het:


Selma na Montgomery March

Op 25 Maart 1965 het Martin Luther King duisende gewelddadige betogers na die trappe van die hoofstad in Montgomery, Alabama, gelei na 'n optog van 5 dae van 54 myl van Selma, Alabama, waar plaaslike Afro-Amerikaners, die Koördinerende komitee vir studente (SNCC), en die Suider -Christelike leierskapskonferensie (SCLC) het hom beywer vir stemreg. King het aan die versamelde skare gesê: "Daar was nog nooit 'n oomblik in die Amerikaanse geskiedenis meer eerbaar en inspirerender as die pelgrimstog van predikante en leke van elke ras en geloof wat in Selma stort om gevaar in die gesig te staar aan die kant van sy negers nie" (King, Address by die afsluiting van die Selma na Montgomery -mars, 121).

Op 2 Januarie 1965 het King en SCLC by SNCC, die Dallas County Voters League en ander plaaslike Afro -Amerikaanse aktiviste aangesluit in 'n stemregveldtog in Selma, waar, ondanks herhaalde registrasiepogings deur plaaslike swartes, slegs twee persent op die stemrolle was. SCLC het gekies om sy pogings in Selma te vestig omdat hulle verwag het dat die berugte wreedheid van plaaslike wetstoepassers onder balju Jim Clark sou nasionale aandag trek en druk op president Lyndon B. Johnson en die kongres om nuwe nasionale stemregwetgewing in te stel.

Die veldtog in Selma en die nabygeleë Marion, Alabama, vorder met massa -arrestasies, maar min geweld die eerste maand. Dit het egter in Februarie verander toe die polisie se aanvalle op gewelddadige betogers toegeneem het. Op die nag van 18 Februarie het die staatstroepe van Alabama by die plaaslike polisie aangesluit om 'n aandmars in Marion te verbreek. In die daaropvolgende geveg het 'n staatstroeper Jimmie Lee geskiet Jackson, 'n 26-jarige kerkdiaken van Marion, terwyl hy probeer het om sy ma te beskerm teen die troepe se nagstok. Jackson is agt dae later in 'n Selma -hospitaal dood.

In reaksie op Jackson se dood het aktiviste in Selma en Marion op 7 Maart van plan om van Selma na die staatshoofstad in Montgomery te marsjeer. Terwyl King in Atlanta was, was sy SCLC -kollega Hosea Williams en die SNCC -leier John Lewis die optog gelei. Die optoggangers het deur Selma oor die Edmund Pettus -brug gegaan, waar hulle gekonfronteer is met 'n blokkade van staatstroepe en plaaslike regsleiers onder bevel van Clark en majoor John Cloud, wat die optoggangers beveel het om te versprei. As hulle dit nie gedoen het nie, beveel Cloud sy manne om te vorder. Onder die blik van toeskouers het die soldate die skare met stokke en traangas aangeval. Die berede polisie het terugtrekkende optoggangers agternagesit en aanhou slaan.

Televisie -dekking van 'Bloody Sunday', soos die gebeurtenis bekend geword het, het nasionale woede veroorsaak. Lewis, wat ernstig op die kop geslaan is, het gesê: 'Ek sien nie hoe president Johnson troepe na Viëtnam kan stuur nie - ek sien nie hoe hy troepe na die Kongo kan stuur nie - ek sien nie hoe hy kan stuur nie troepe na Afrika en kan nie troepe na Selma stuur nie (Reed, "Alabama Police Use Gas").

Daardie aand het King 'n blits telegramme en openbare verklarings begin "wat 'n beroep op godsdienstige leiers uit die hele land doen om Dinsdag by ons aan te sluit in ons vreedsame, gewelddadige optog vir vryheid" (King, 7 Maart 1965). Terwyl aktiviste van King en Selma beplan het om die optog twee dae later weer te probeer, het regter Frank M. Johnson, die federale distrikshof, die bewegingsadvokaat in kennis gestel. Grys dat hy van voorneme was om 'n beperkingsbevel uit te reik wat die optog tot ten minste 11 Maart verbied, en president Johnson het King onder druk geplaas om die optog uit te skakel totdat 'n federale hofbevel beskerming vir die optoggangers kon bied.

Nadat hy laat in die nag en vroegoggend met ander burgerregte -leiers en John Doar, die adjunkhoof van die burgerregte -afdeling van die departement van justisie, oorweeg het om die hangende hofbevel te verontagsaam, het hy die middag na die Edmund Pettus -brug gegaan. van 9 Maart. Hy het meer as 2 000 optoggangers, waaronder honderde geestelikes wat die oproep van King op kort kennisgewing beantwoord het, na die plek van die aanval van Sondag gelei, en toe gestop en hulle gevra om te kniel en te bid. Na gebede het hulle opgestaan ​​en die opmars teruggedraai na Selma, om weer 'n konfrontasie met die staatstroepe te vermy en die vraag of regter Johnson se hofbevel gehoorsaam moet word, te vermy. Baie optoggangers was krities oor die onverwagte besluit van King om nie deur te gaan na Montgomery nie, maar die terughouding het steun gekry van president Johnson, wat 'n openbare verklaring uitgereik het: 'Amerikaners is oral by om die brutaliteit waarmee 'n aantal negers van Alabama behandel is, te betreur toe hulle het probeer om hul diepe en opregte belangstelling in die bereiking van die kosbare stemreg te dramatiseer (Johnson, "Verklaring deur die president"). Johnson het belowe om binne 'n paar dae 'n wetsontwerp op stemreg aan die kongres voor te lê.

Die aand het verskeie plaaslike blankes James aangeval Reeb, 'n blanke Unitarian minister wat uit Massachusetts gekom het om by die protes aan te sluit. Sy dood twee dae later het bygedra tot die toenemende nasionale kommer oor die situasie in Alabama. Johnson het persoonlik sy meegevoel met die weduwee van Reeb gebel en met die goewerneur van Alabama, George, vergader Wallacedruk op hom om optoggangers te beskerm en algemene stemreg te ondersteun.

Op 15 Maart het Johnson die kongres toegespreek en hom geïdentifiseer met die betogers in Selma in 'n televisietoespraak: 'Hulle saak moet ook ons ​​saak wees. Omdat dit nie net negers is nie, maar eintlik is dit ons almal wat die verlammende nalatenskap van dwaasheid en onreg moet oorkom. En ons sal oorwin ”(Johnson,“ Spesiale boodskap ”). Die volgende dag het Selma -betogers 'n gedetailleerde optogplan aan regter Johnson voorgelê, wat die betoging goedgekeur het en goewerneur Wallace en plaaslike wetstoepassers beveel het om optogters te teister of te dreig. Op 17 Maart het Johnson stemregwetgewing aan die kongres voorgelê.

Die optog wat federaal goedgekeur is, het Selma op 21 Maart verlaat. Beskerm deur honderde gefederaliseerde Alabama National Guardsmen en Federale Buro vir Ondersoek agente, het die betogers tussen 7 en 17 myl per dag afgelê. Hulle het snags in ondersteuners se werwe kampeer, en hulle is vermaak deur bekendes soos Harry Belafonte en Lena Horne. Beperk deur bevel van regter Johnson tot 300 optoggangers oor 'n stuk tweespoorweg, het die aantal betogers op die laaste dag tot 25,000 toegeneem, vergesel van assistent-prokureur-generaal John Doar en Ramsey Clark, en voormalige assistent-prokureur-generaal Burke Marshall, onder andere.

Tydens die laaste byeenkoms, gehou op die trappe van die hoofstad in Montgomery, het King uitgeroep: 'Die doel wat ons soek, is 'n samelewing wat in vrede is met homself, 'n samelewing wat met sy gewete kan lewe. En dit sal 'n dag wees, nie van die witman nie, nie van die swartman nie. Dit sal die dag van die mens as mens wees ”(King,“ Address, ”130). Daarna het 'n afvaardiging van optogleiers probeer om 'n versoekskrif aan goewerneur Wallace te lewer, maar is afgewys. Viola Liuzzo, 'n huisvrou uit Michigan wat as vrywilliger na Alabama gekom het, is dieselfde aand tydens vier van die Ku Klux Klan doodgeskiet terwyl sy Selma -betogers terugkeer vanuit Montgomery. Doar het later drie Klansmen vervolg weens sameswering om haar burgerregte te skend.

Op 6 Augustus, in die teenwoordigheid van King en ander leiers van burgerregte, onderteken president Johnson die Wet op stemreg van 1965. Johnson herinner aan die "verontwaardiging van Selma" en noem die stemreg "die magtigste instrument wat ooit deur die mens bedink is om onreg te breek en die verskriklike mure te vernietig wat mans in die tronk sit omdat hulle anders is as ander mans" (Johnson, "Opmerkings") . In sy jaarlikse toespraak aan SCLC 'n paar dae later het King opgemerk dat "Montgomery gelei het tot die Civil Rights Act van 1957 en 1960 dat Birmingham die Civil Rights Act van 1964 geïnspireer het en Selma die stemregwetgewing van 1965 opgestel het" (King, 11 Augustus 1965 ).


Hierdie seldsame foto's van die Selma -mars plaas u in die geskiedenis

James Barker was 'n tegniese fotograaf en werk saam met die Washington State University se afdeling van industriële navorsing in Pullman, Washington, toe hy 'n onverwagse oproep van 'n kollega ontvang het: die universiteit het noodfondse bymekaargemaak om drie verteenwoordigers na Selma, Alabama, te stuur , in afwagting van die derde optog wat deur dr Martin Luther King, Jr., en die  Suidelike Christelike Leierskapskonferensie (SCLC) gereël is. Die WSU -groep sou by tienduisende ander van regoor die land aansluit, genoodsaak om by King en burgerregte -optoggangers aan te sluit ná die gewelddadige uitkoms van die eerste optog, genaamd Bloody Sunday, het 17 optoggangers deur die staat en die plaaslike polisie beseer .  Barker, wat sy naweke en vakansies deurgebring het met fotografiese studies van mense (trekarbeiders in byvoorbeeld Yakima, of 'n   herontwikkelingsgebied in San Francisco) was op die kortlys.   As hy gekies is om die optog by te woon, kollega het hom vertel dat hy die aand op 'n vliegtuig sou ry na die diep suide.

Verwante inhoud

'Ek was bewus van die soort geweld wat op die poging van die eerste optog uitgebeeld word, maar dit was natuurlik ver,' sê Barker. "Dit het alles buitengewoon vinnig gebeur. Die eerste ding wat ek gedoen het [na die oproep] was om na die yskas te gaan en te kyk of daar genoeg film was.#160 Ek was in 'n totale waansin besig en het gewonder wat ek moet dra om te kan wees. draagbaar en baie vinnig kan beweeg. "

Later die dag het Barker agtergekom dat hy deur die universiteit gekies is om na Selma te reis. Hy neem  a single   Leica met 'n matige groothoeklens, wat hom in staat stel om van binne die optog van naby te neem. 'My betrokkenheid was meer 'n deelnemer -waarnemer, nie 'n perspersoon wat van buite gekyk het en gedink het watter soort storie 'n foto kan genereer nie,' sê hy.

Barker en sy kollegas het die Saterdag voor die optog in Montgomery, Alabama, aangekom, wat uiteindelik die derde poging sou wees om van Selma na Montgomery te marsjeer. 'N Paar vrywilligers, albei swart, het die hele wit groep van die lughawe na Selma gery gedurende die optog; vrywilligers is gestuur om mense (sowel as voorraad) tussen Montgomery, Selma en verskillende optogterreine te vervoer.

"Terwyl ons gery het, het ek gedink 'Wanneer begin die fotografie?' die bestuurder, wat swart was, het gesê: 'Ek wens jy wil dit nie doen nie, ons wil nie hê dat daar iets moet gebeur wat hulle sal aanmoedig om ons te stop nie.' Sy vrou of vriendin het gesê: 'Ons is bang vir diegene wat ons beskerm'. ”Sê Barker. "Ek het gedink: 'My god, dit is nogal 'n uitspraak.'  Dit is so 'n ander wêreld as waarin ons aan die Weskus grootgeword het."

Barker en sy kollegas is na die Brown Chapel in Selma geneem, waar die optog gereël is. Hy het ernstig begin fotografeer toe hulle by die kapel aankom en het gedurende die res van sy tyd in Alabama rustig foto's geneem, wat strek vanaf die dag voor die optog Selma tot die Woensdag toe hulle Montgomery bereik het (Barker het deelgeneem) op die eerste dag van die optog sowel as die laaste). 'Woensdagoggend het ek uitgegaan en weer by die optog aangesluit,' sê Barker, wat volgens die ooreenkoms tussen organiseerders en die staat tot 300 mense deur die landelike Alabama afgeneem het. "Toe ek uit die motor klim, was dit 'n absolute stortvloed reën, en hier was die duisende mense wat reeds by die optoggangers aangesluit het."

Woensdagaand het hy sy laaste foto van die optog geneem: 'n groep tieners wat sing. 'Ek het regtig gevoel dat die spesifieke prentjie van die kinders 'n hoogtepunt was van alles wat gebeur het,' sê Barker.

Toe hy na Pullman terugkeer, verwerk Barker die film onmiddellik. 'Ek het na die kontakblaaie gekyk', sê hy, 'en ek het gedink:' Het ek dit reggekry? Het ek iets wat die moeite werd is? ' wat hy in die WSU -biblioteek opgehang het. Teen daardie tyd was die skooljaar egter verby, en die meerderheid studente het die kampus verlaat.

Die foto's het jare lank deur die land gereis en aan mure van kerke en museums gehang. Vyf jaar gelede het die foto's hul weg gevind na die Rosa Parks Museum in Montgomery, en 'n paar jaar daarna, tydens 'n vertoning in Arizona, het die aandag van 'n kunsgalery in New York getrek. In Maart gaan die foto's na New York vir 'n vertoning in die Kasher Gallery.

Byna 50 jaar na die optog,  Barker, wat sê dat hy vandag veral bekend is vir sy foto's van Eskimo's in Alaska, het tyd geneem om 'n paar vrae van Smithsonian.com te beantwoord.  

Het u 'n spesifieke benadering in gedagte gehad tydens die fotografie van die optogte en die dokumentasie van hierdie stuk geskiedenis? Wat het jy gehoop om in jou beelde vas te lê?

Wat ek doen, deur al my werk, is om persoonlikhede van mense en interaksies te probeer uitbeeld — alles moontlik om die emosies van wie mense is en hul betrokkenheid by mekaar aan te toon.

Dit was die hele poging. Ek was nie daarvan bewus om iets anders te probeer sê as 'Hier is die mense wat hierby betrokke is'. Tydens die optog het daar mense aan die kant gestaan ​​wat na die optoggangers kyk en daar is 'n paar foto's van motors wat verbygery het, en ek wou die vyandigheid bedek sodat dit die omgewing wys. Maar ek soek altyd net wie die mense is. Dit was nog altyd my hoofdoel.

My foto's bly by individue, en dit neem 'n aantal foto's om mense die boodskap daarvan te verstaan.  

Hoe het die ervaring van die optog vergelyk met u verwagtinge van hoe dit sou wees?

Toe ons by die Brown -kapel aankom, het hulle gesê dat dit die veiligste is om in die omgewing te bly. Dit was nogal 'n skok. Daar was 'n gevoel van 'n byna soort utopie van mense wat almal daar was met 'n enkele doel voor oë, wat met die optog te doen gehad het, en tog 'n paar blokke verder was hierdie ring waar daar 'n kwessie van veiligheid was.  

Toe ek na Montgomery geneem is, in die kerk naby die hoofstad, het ek opgekyk en gesien hoe die hoofstad heeltemal deur die staatspolisie lui. Ek het nie die kerk verlaat nie omdat ek nie geweet het wat die veiligheid van die omgewing is nie, want dit was duidelik dat ek as 'n buitestaander beskou sou word.

Hoe het die mense wat aan die optog deelgeneem het, as fotograaf gereageer op u teenwoordigheid?  

Ek was, soos ek gereeld doen, as deelnemende waarnemer bedrywig. Ek was daar in die middel van die optog en het 'n rugsak gedra, soms met mense gesels, maar daar was ook ander mense wat foto's geneem het.

Gedurende my hele lewe, terwyl ek situasies gefotografeer het, het daar iets gebeur wat ek regtig nie heeltemal kan verduidelik nie. Dikwels neem ek 'n foto tydens 'n geleentheid, en as mense die foto's sien, sal hulle sê: 'Dit is ongelooflik, ek het nie eens geweet dat jy daar was nie.'  I ’m 6'2, dit is 'n min verbasend dat ek in die middel van mense kan ronddwaal en redelik nou en intiem mense kan fotografeer sonder dat hulle blykbaar weet dat ek daar is.

Ek probeer baie vinnig werk, om oomblikke van interaksie en uitdrukking vas te vang, maar probeer terselfdertyd doelbewus oogkontak vermy. As u nie oogkontak maak nie, lyk mense nie dat u daarvan bewus is dat u daar is nie.

Die hele ding was net om in die middel van 'n skare mense te wees en te fotografeer, en nie op enige manier in te dring nie.

Dekades na die optog — die film Selma uitgekom het, was daar meer kontemporêre optogte wat handel oor meer onlangse ongeregtighede wat op swart gemeenskappe in Amerika ontstaan ​​het, en wat kan ons leer as ons op hierdie foto's terugkyk op hierdie oomblik?

Twee somers gelede het ek besluit om die uitstalling weer te herdruk, omdat dit erken is dat die oorspronklike afdrukke 'n aansienlike historiese waarde het, en ons het besluit dat ons dit nooit weer sal uitstal nie. Ek het die uitstalling in die middel van die somer herdruk op die tydstip toe die beslissing van die Hooggeregshof neergekom het en een van die belangrikste dele van die Wet op die Kieserregte vernietig het, en onmiddellik verklaar het, insluitend Alabama — hul wette verander, wat in werklikheid kieser word onderdrukking.

Al wat ek voel ek kan doen, is om die menslike element in hierdie mense te probeer inset, dat hulle nie anonieme mense is wat baie betrokke was by die optog en die betogings nie. Probeer net om die hele ding te vermenslik.


Selma na Montgomery March

Die oggend dat ek wakker word en. dit was baie mistig en die Alabama National Guard was gefederaliseer om ons op hierdie stap te beskerm. Dit was my 15de verjaardag. Ek was nog nooit in my lewe so bang soos op daardie dag nie. Lynda Lowery

Deelnemers, sommige met Amerikaanse vlae, marsjeer in die burgerregteoptog van Selma na Montgomery, Alabama in 1965

Pettus, Peter, fotograaf Library of Congress: LC-DIG-ppmsca-08102

Tot 1965 het provinsies in Alabama voorkomende maatreëls gebruik om Afro-Amerikaners te verhinder om te registreer om te stem. As gevolg hiervan kon slegs 2% persent van die Afro-Amerikaanse bevolking van Dallas County op daardie tydstip stem en 0% in Lowndes County. Burgerregte -aktiviste het egter in Selma begin protesteer om die aandag op hierdie onreg te vestig. Hierdie protesoptredes is dikwels deur geweld van die plaaslike balju se departement teëgekom, wat baie laat wonder wat volgende gaan gebeur.

Die eerste Maart: Bloedige Sondag

Oorsprong van die Selma tot by Montgomery Marches

Op 7 Maart het ongeveer 600 nie-gewelddadige betogers, die oorgrote meerderheid Afro-Amerikaners, van Brown Chapel A.M.E. Kerk in Selma met die doel om 54 myl na Montgomery te marsjeer, as 'n gedenkteken vir Jimmy Lee Jackson en om te protesteer vir kiesersregte. Toe hulle op 7 Maart die Edmund Pettus -brug oorsteek, word 'n kolom van die staatstroepe en plaaslike vrywillige beamptes van die plaaslike balju se afdelings ontmoet wat hul pad versper het.

Majoor John Cloud het aan die gewelddadige betogers gesê dat hulle twee minute tyd het om terug te keer na hul kerk en huise. In minder as die toegewese tyd is hulle deur die wetstoepassers met nagstokkies en traangas aangeval. Volgens verskeie berigte het minstens 50 betogers hospitaalbehandeling nodig gehad. Die brutaliteit wat op hierdie dag getoon is, is deur die media vasgelê, maar die media is teruggehou terwyl die betogers terugtrek, waar die geweld 'n geruime tyd voortduur.

Die aanval het woede in die hele land veroorsaak, en 7 Maart het bekend gestaan ​​as 'Bloody Sunday'.

Die Tweede Maart: Omkeer Dinsdag

Twee dae later, op 9 Maart, het Martin Luther King, Jr., 'n "simboliese" opmars na die brug gelei. Hierdie keer het hulle besluit om terug te keer en nie 'n gewelddadige konfrontasie te waag nie. Eerwaarde Jim MacDonell onthou die dag in sy mondelinge geskiedenis:

En dit het ongeveer 'n uur geneem om almal in 'n tou te kry en die opmars uit die stad te begin, want die Edmund Pettus -brug is ongeveer 'n half kilometer buite die stad. En natuurlik stap ons oor die brug en bo -oor die brug en aan die ander kant. Toe ons met die snelweg afkom, kyk ons ​​oor die snelweg, en daar is so ver as wat ons kan sien flikkerende ligte en polisiemotors en helmet -troepe met haelgewere wat die pad versper. Dit was baie onheilspellend. Dr King het 'n bullhorn gekry wat hy by majoor Lingo van die Alabama -polisie geleen het, en hy het gesê: 'Mense, ons sal moet stop. En ons is verseker dat ons kan kniel vir 'n oomblik van gebed, wat gelei sal word deur die regte dominee John Wesley Lord, die metodistebiskop van Washington DC En so het ons almal, 2000 mense wat oor die brug terugstap, almal gekniel op die sypaadjie. Ek was net ongeveer 10 voet van voor af op. En toe ek daar kniel, hoor ek skielik: "O Here ons God ..." En dit was nie John Welsley Lord nie, dit was my Presbyteriaanse vriend, die New York Abner Presbyterian Church. En hy het gebid. Dit was dierbare dokter Docherty. Hy was 'n groot man. Hy het vir die mense van Selma gebid. Hy het vir die goewerneur van Alabama gebid. Hy het vir die troepe gebid. Hy het vir vrede en versoening gebid. Dit was baie ontroerend. Ons was baie emosioneel. Maar dit was die regte, die regte woorde is gesê. ”

Daardie aand is drie Unitaristiese ministers wat na Selma gereis het om by die protes aan te sluit, aangeval deur 'n groep wit hooligans. Op 11 Maart sterf eerwaarde James Reeb aan sy beserings.

Toe soek burgerregte-leiers hofbeskerming vir 'n derde, volskaalse optog van Selma na die hoofstad van die staat in Montgomery. Regter Frank M. Johnson, federale distrikshof, weeg die reg op mobiliteit op teen die reg om op te trek en beslis ten gunste van die betogers. 'Die wet is duidelik dat die reg om 'n versoek aan u regering te rig om griewe te herstel, in groot groepe uitgeoefen kan word', het regter Johnson gesê, 'en hierdie regte kan uitgeoefen word deur te marsjeer, selfs langs openbare snelweë.'

Die Derde Maart

die roete van Selma na Montgomery

Die burgerregte -betogers het 'n bevel vir 'n derde optog aangevra en ontvang wat op 17 Maart deur regter Frank M. Johnson, Jr., toegestaan ​​is. slaap in die velde. Teen die tyd dat hulle die hoofstad op Donderdag 25 Maart bereik het, was hulle 25 000 man. Slegs hierdie derde optog, wat op 21 Maart begin het, bereik die Alabama State Capitol in Montgomery.

Minder as vyf maande na die laaste van die drie optogte het president Lyndon Johnson die Wet op Stemreg van 1965 onderteken-die beste moontlike regstelling van griewe.


Selma-na-Montgomery-mars se tydlyn

Die 50ste herdenking van die Selma-na-Montgomery-optog vier 'n reeks vreedsame protesoptogte teen dikwels uiterste geweld wat gelei het tot een van die belangrikste stukke burgerregtelike wetgewing in die Amerikaanse geskiedenis-die aanvaarding van die 1965 stemregwet.

Hier is 'n paar van die belangrikste gebeure in die stryd.

1962-1963 - Verteenwoordigers van die koördinerende komitee vir studente kom na Selma en begin met protesoptogte.

7 Oktober 1963 - In wat bekend sou staan ​​as 'Vryheidsdag', staan ​​ongeveer 350 swartes op om te registreer om by die Dallas County Courthouse te stem. Registrateurs gaan so stadig as moontlik en neem 'n twee-uur middagete. Min mense registreer, die meeste word ontken, maar die protes word deur burgerregte -advokate as 'n groot oorwinning beskou.

9 Julie 1964 - Regter James County Hars in die Dallas County Circuit Court reik 'n bevel uit om die byeenkoms van drie of meer mense effektief te verbied om burgerregte of kiesersregistrasie in Selma te bespreek.

28 Desember 1964 - Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. bied die SCLC -plan aan, die 'Project for an Alabama Political Freedom Movement', 'n plan wat deur James Bevel bedink is wat massa -aksie en kieserregistrasiepogings in Selma en Dallas County vereis

2 Januarie 1965 - King begins his Selma campaign when about 700 African Americans show up for a meeting at Brown Chapel in defiance of the injunction.

Jan. 18, 1965 - Black civil rights advocates meet at Brown Chapel. Following speeches and prayers, King and John Lewis lead 300 marchers out of the church. Selma Police Chief Wilson Baker allows them to march in small groups to the courthouse to register despite Hare's injunction, but Sheriff Jim Clark has them line up in an alley beside the courthouse, where they are out of sight, and leaves them there. None is registered.

Jan. 19, 1965 - Protestors return to the courthouse to register and demand to remain at the front of the building. Clark arrests them, including Hosea Williams of the SCLC, Lewis of the SNCC and Amelia Boynton

Jan. 22, 1965 - Since local teachers can be fired, few have taken overt roles in the civil rights movement, but Margaret Moore and the Rev. F.D. Reese, who is also a teacher at Hudson High, organize the unprecedented teachers' march. Almost every black teacher in Selma — 110 of them — marches to register to vote. Clark and his deputies push them down the courthouse stairs three times, but they are not arrested.

Jan. 25, 1965 - King leads another march of about 250 people to the courthouse. When Clark painfully twists the arm of Annie Lee Cooper, 54, and shoves her, she slugs him — twice.

Feb. 1, 1965 - King and Ralph Abernathy lead a protest and refuse to break into smaller groups. Both are arrested and placed in the Selma jail, and refuse to be bonded out.

Feb. 4, 1965 - One day after addressing students at Tuskegee Institute, Malcolm X speaks to a crowd at Brown Chapel, carefully avoiding speaking about his previous differences with King concerning non-violence.

Feb. 4, 1965 - President Lyndon Johnson makes his first public statement supporting the Selma campaign

Feb. 6, 1965 - President Johnson says he will urge Congress to enact a voting rights bill during the session

February 1965 - Gov. George C. Wallace bans nighttime demonstrations in Selma and Marion, and assigns 75 troopers to enforce it.

Feb. 18, 1965 - State troopers attack marchers during a protest in Marion. State trooper James Bonard Fowler shoots and kills Jimmie Lee Jackson, a 26-year-old deacon of the St. James Baptist Church. Fowler was charged with murder in 2007. He pleaded guilty to second-degree manslaughter in 2010, when he was 67, saying he thought Jackson had been reaching for a weapon. He was sentenced to six months, but was released after five because of failing health.

March 5, 1965 - King flies to Washington to speak with President Johnson about the Voting Rights Bill. Then announces the plan for a massive march from Selma to Montgomery.

March 6, 1965 - Alabama whites, calling themselves the Concerned White Citizens of Alabama, come to Selma to march in support of black rights. Klan members have followed them into town to protest their march, and the demonstration breaks up as it is clear violence is about to break out.

March 7, 1965 - In what would become known as "Bloody Sunday," John Lewis and Hosea Williams lead about 600 people on what is intended to be a march from Selma to Montgomery. But Alabama state troopers, some on horseback, and Clark and his deputies meet the marchers at the Edmund Pettus Bridge. When the marchers refuse to disperse, they are driven back with billy clubs and tear gas, with 16 being hospitalized and at least 50 others injured. The national coverage of the event galvanizes the country, and King calls for volunteers from throughout the nation to come to Selma for another march on March 9.

March 8, 1965 - Fred Gray and the SCLC file Hosea Williams v George Wallace before U.S. District Judge Frank M. Johnson Jr. in Montgomery, asking the court to prevent state troopers from blocking the march. Wallace representatives argue that the march should be blocked because it would block roadways, interfering with state commerce and transportation and be a threat to public safety. Johnson, concerned about the safety of the marchers, says the march should be put off until the court can hold a formal hearing and make a decision.

March 9, 1965 - Martin Luther King Jr. leads another march to the Edmund Pettus Bridge. About 2,000 people, more than half of them white and about a third members of the clergy, participate in the second march. King leads the march to the bridge, then tells the protestors to disperse. The march becomes known as Turnaround Tuesday.

March 9, 1965 - James Reeb, a Unitarian Universalist minister who had come from Boston and marched in the protest earlier in the day, is beaten severely by KKK members. He dies of head injuries two days later at the age of 38.

March 11, 1965 - Upset with the way the SCLC is handling things in Selma, James Forman and much of the SNCC staff move to Montgomery and begin a series of demonstrations. The group also asks for students from across the country to join them. Tuskegee Institute students come to Montgomery in an attempt to deliver a petition to Wallace.

Maart13, 1965 - President Johnson meets with Wallace to decry the brutality surrounding the protests and asks him to mobilize the Alabama National Guard to protect demonstrators.

March 14, 1965 - SNCC staff members lead 400 Alabama State University students, joined by a group of white students from across the country, on a march from the ASU campus to the Capitol. Although Montgomery police react peacefully to the march, as the students approach the Capitol, state troopers, the sheriff's office and a posse it has deputized attack the marchers. Photos of the violence make national headlines.

March 15, 1965 - President Johnson addresses Congress in support of a Voting Rights Bill, quoting the famous civil rights cry "We shall overcome."

March 17, 1965 - Federal District Court Judge Frank M. Johnson Jr. rules in favor of the marchers after receiving a Justice Department plan outlining their protection during the march.

March 17, 1965 - Despite the arguments between the SCLC and the SNCC, King joins Forman in leading a march of 2000 people in Montgomery to the Montgomery County courthouse. After the march, King announces the third Selma-to-Montgomery march. City of Montgomery officials apologize for the assault on SNCC protesters by county and state law enforcement and ask King and Forman to work with them on how best to deal with future protests in the city student leaders promise they will seek permits for future protest marches. But Wallace continues to arrest protestors who venture on to state-controlled property.

March 18, 1965 - Wallace blasts Judge Johnson's ruling, saying the state cannot afford to provide the security the marchers need and that he will ask the federal government for help.

March 19, 1965 - Wallace sends a telegram to President Johnson asking for help in providing security for the march.

March 20, 1965 - President Johnson issues an executive order authorizing the federal use of the Alabama National Guard to supply protection. He also sends 1,000 military policemen and 2,000 Army troops to escort the march from Selma.

March 21, 1965 - About 8,000 people assemble at Brown Chapel before starting the five-day march to Montgomery's Capitol.

March 24, 1965 - Marchers rest at the City of St. Jude, a Catholic church and school complex on the outskirts of Montgomery, where Harry Belafonte, Tony Bennett, Joan Baez, Sammy Davis Jr., Nina Simone, Frankie Laine and Peter, Paul and Mary perform at a "Stars for Freedom" rally.

March 25, 1965 - During the Selma-to-Montgomery march, about 25,000 demonstrators join the marchers when they reach Montgomery for a final rally at the state Capitol. King delivers his famous "How Long, Not Long" speech.

March 25, 1965 - That night, Viola Liuzzo, a white mother of five who had driven from Detroit to help protest for black civil rights, is shot and killed by Ku Klux Klansmen as she drives toward Montgomery to pick up a carload of marchers. She was 39.

August 6, 1965 - President Johnson signs the Voting Rights Act into law.


Ten Things You Should Know About Selma Before You See the Film

In this 50th anniversary year of the Selma-to-Montgomery March and the Voting Rights Act it helped inspire, national media will focus on the iconic images of “Bloody Sunday,” the words of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., the interracial marchers, and President Lyndon Johnson signing the Voting Rights Act. This version of history, emphasizing a top-down narrative and isolated events, reinforces the master narrative that civil rights activists describe as “Rosa sat down, Martin stood up, and the white folks came south to save the day.”

But there is a “people’s history” of Selma that we all can learn from—one that is needed especially now. The exclusion of Blacks and other people of color from voting is still a live issue. Sheriff’s deputies may no longer be beating people to keep them from registering to vote, but in 2013 the Supreme Court ruled in Shelby v. Holder that the Justice Department may no longer evaluate laws passed in the former Confederacy for racial bias. And as a new movement emerges, insisting that Black Lives Matter, young people can draw inspiration and wisdom from the courage, imagination, and accomplishments of activists who went before.

Here are 10 points to keep in mind about Selma’s civil rights history.

A march of 15,000 in Harlem in solidarity with the Selma voting rights struggle. World Telegram & Sun photo by Stanley Wolfson. Source: Library of Congress.

1. The Selma voting rights campaign started long before the modern Civil Rights Movement.

Mrs. Amelia Boynton Robinson, her husband Samuel William Boynton, and other African American activists founded the Dallas County Voters League (DCVL) in the 1930s. The DCVL became the base for a group of activists who pursued voting rights and economic independence.

2. Selma was one of the communities where the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) began organizing in the early 1960s.

In 1963, seasoned activists Colia (Liddell) and Bernard Lafayette came to Selma as field staff for the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC), known as “Snick.” Founded by the young people who initiated the 1960 sit-in movement, SNCC had moved into Deep South, majority-black communities doing the dangerous work of organizing with local residents around voter registration.

Working with the Boyntons and other DCVL members, the Lafayettes held Citizenship School classes focused on the literacy test required for voter registration and canvassed door-to-door, encouraging African Americans to try to register to vote. Prathia Hall, a SNCC field secretary who came to Selma in the fall of 1963, explained in Hands on the Freedom Plow:

The 1965 Selma Movement could never have happened if SNCC hadn’t been there opening up Selma in 1962 and 1963. The later nationally known movement was the product of more than two years of baie careful, baie slow work.

3. The white power structure used economic, “legal,” and extra-legal means, including terrorism, to prevent African Americans from accessing their constitutional right to vote and to impede organizing efforts.

SNCC’s organizing was necessary and extremely challenging because African Americans in Selma, despite being a majority in the community, were systematically disfranchised by the white elite who used literacy tests, economic intimidation, and violence to maintain the status quo.

According to a 1961 Civil Rights Commission report, only 130 of 15,115 eligible Dallas County Blacks were registered to vote. The situation was even worse in neighboring Wilcox and Lowndes counties. There were virtually no Blacks on the voting rolls in these rural counties that were roughly 80 percent Black. Ironically, in some Alabama counties, more than 100 percent of the eligible white population was registered.

Although many people are aware of the violent attacks during Bloody Sunday (when, on March 7, 1965, police brutally attacked marchers in Selma), white repression in Selma was systematic and long-standing. Selma was home to Sheriff Jim Clark, a violent racist, and one of Alabama’s strongest white Citizens’ Councils—made up of the community’s white elite and dedicated to preserving white supremacy. The threat of violence was so strong that most African Americans were afraid to attend a mass meeting. Most of the Lafayettes’ first recruits were high school students. Too young to vote, they canvassed and taught classes to adults. Prathia Hall remembers the danger in Alabama: “…[I]n Gadsden, the police used cattle prods on the torn feet [of young protesters] and stuck the prods into the groins of boys. Selma was just brutal. Civil rights workers came into town under the cover of darkness.”

4. Though civil rights activists typically used nonviolent tactics in public demonstrations, at home and in their own communities they consistently used weapons to defend themselves.

On June 12, 1963, the night Medgar Evers was assassinated in Jackson, Mississippi, whites viciously attacked Bernard Lafayette outside his apartment in Selma in what many believe was a coordinated effort to suppress Black activism.

Lafayette believed in nonviolence, but his life was probably saved by a neighbor who shot into the air to scare away the white attackers.

This practice of armed self-defense was woven into the movement and, because neither local nor federal law enforcement offered sufficient protection, it was essential for keeping nonviolent activists alive.

5. Local, state, and federal institutions conspired and were complicit in preventing black voting.

Even with the work of SNCC and the Dallas County Voters League, it was almost impossible for African Americans to register to vote. The registrar’s office was only open twice a month and potential applicants were routinely and arbitrarily rejected. Some were physically attacked and others fired from their jobs. Howard Zinn, who visited Selma in the fall of 1963 as a SNCC advisor, offers a glimpse of the repression, noting that white officials had fired teachers for trying to register and regularly arrested SNCC workers, sometimes beating them in jail. In one instance, a police officer knocked a 19-year-old girl unconscious and brutalized her with a cattle prod.

Photos: A brave young boy demonstrates for freedom in front of the Dallas County courthouse in Selma on July 8, 1964. Selma sheriff deputies approach and arrest him. Source: Matt Herron/Take Stock Photos, used by permission.

In another example, in summer 1964, Judge James Hare issued an injunction making it illegal for three or more people to congregate. This made demonstrations and voter registration work almost impossible while SNCC pursued the slow appeals process. Although the Justice Department pursued its own legal action to address discrimination against Black voters, its attorneys offered no protection and did nothing to intervene when local officials openly flaunted the 1957 Civil Rights Act.

The FBI was even worse. In addition to refusing to protect civil rights workers attacked in front of agents, the FBI spied on and tried to discredit movement activists. In 1964, the FBI sent King an anonymous and threatening note urging him to commit suicide and later smeared white activist Viola Liuzzo, who was murdered after coming from Detroit to participate in the Selma-to-Montgomery March.

6. SNCC developed creative tactics to highlight Black demand for the vote and the raw violence at the heart of Jim Crow.

Howard Zinn, James Baldwin, and a journalist on Freedom Day in Selma, Alabama, October, 1963.

To highlight African Americans’ desire to vote and encourage a sense of collective struggle, SNCC organized a Freedom Day on Monday, Oct. 7, 1963, one of the monthly registration days. They invited Black celebrities, like James Baldwin and Dick Gregory, so Blacks in Selma would know they weren’t alone.

Over the course of the day, 350 African Americans stood in line to register, but the registrar processed only 40 applications and white lawmen refused to allow people to leave the line and return. Lawmen also arrested three SNCC workers who stood on federal property holding signs promoting voter registration.

By mid-afternoon, SNCC was so concerned about those who had been standing all day in the bright sun, that two field secretaries loaded up their arms with water and sandwiches and approached the would-be voters.

Highway patrolmen immediately attacked and arrested the two men, while three FBI agents and two Justice Department attorneys refused to intervene. (Read an account of the day by Howard Zinn here.)

This federal inaction was typical, even though Southern white officials openly defied both the Civil Rights Act of 1957 and constitutional protections of free assembly and speech. The FBI insisted it had no authority to act because these were local police matters, but consistently ignored such constraints to arrest bank robbers and others violating federal law.

7. Selma activists invited Dr. King to join an active movement with a long history.

By late 1964, Martin Luther King Jr. and the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) were looking for a local community where they could launch a campaign to force the country to confront the Southern white power structure’s widespread discrimination against prospective Black voters.

At the same time, Mrs. Boynton, the longtime leader of the Dallas County Voters League, wanted to escalate the struggle in Selma and invited SCLC in. SCLC saw Selma as ideal because: (1) the ongoing work of SNCC and the DCVL provided a strong base of organizers and people who could be counted on to attend mass meetings, march in demonstrations, attempt to register, and canvass prospective registrants (2) Sheriff Jim Clark’s volatile white supremacy led King to believe he was likely to attack peaceful protesters in public, drawing national attention to the white violence underlying Black disfranchisement and finally, (3) the Justice Department’s own lawsuit charging racial discrimination in Dallas County voter registration reinforced the need for action.

8. Youth and teachers played a significant role in the Selma Movement.

An important breakthrough in the Selma Movement came when schoolteachers, angered by a physical attack on Mrs. Boynton, marched to the courthouse on Jan. 22, 1965. Despite the prominence of King and a handful of ministers in history books, throughout the South most teachers and ministers stayed on the sidelines during the movement. Hired and paid by white school boards and superintendents, teachers who joined the Civil Rights Movement faced almost certain job loss.

Young women singing freedom songs in a Selma church. 7/8/1964. Source: ©Matt Herron/Take Stock Photos.

In Selma, the “teachers’ march” was particularly important to the young activists at the heart of the Selma Movement. One of them, Sheyann Webb, was just 8 years old and a regular participant in the marches. She reflects in Voices of Freedom:

What impressed me most about the day that the teachers marched was just the idea of them being there. Prior to their marching, I used to have to go to school and it was like a report, you know. They were just as afraid as my parents were, because they could lose their jobs. It was amazing to see how many teachers participated. They follow[ed] us that day. It was just a thrill.

9. Women were central to the movement, but they were sometimes pushed to the side and today their contributions are often overlooked.

In Selma, for example, Mrs. Amelia Boynton was a stalwart with the DCVL and played a critical role for decades in nurturing African American efforts to register to vote. She welcomed SNCC to town and helped support the younger activists and their work. When Judge Hare’s injunction slowed the grassroots organizing, she initiated the invitation to King and SCLC.

Marie Foster, another local activist, taught citizenship classes even before SNCC arrived. In early 1965 when SCLC began escalating the confrontation in Selma, Boynton and Foster were both in the thick of things, inspiring others and putting their own bodies on the line. They were leaders on Bloody Sunday and the subsequent march to Montgomery.

Though Colia Liddell Lafayette worked side by side with husband Bernard, recruiting student workers and doing the painstaking work of building a grassroots movement in Selma, she has become almost invisible and typically mentioned only in passing, as his wife.

Diane Nash, whose plan for a nonviolent war on Montgomery inspired the initial Selma march, was already a seasoned veteran, leading the Nashville sit-ins, helping found SNCC, and taking decisive action to carry the freedom rides forward.

These are just a few of the many women who were critical to the movement’s success—in Selma and across the country.

10. Though President Lyndon Johnson is typically credited with passage of the Voting Rights Act, the Movement forced the issue and made it happen.

The Selma campaign is considered a major success for the Civil Rights Movement, largely because it was an immediate catalyst for the passage of the Voting Rights Act of 1965. Signed into law by President Lyndon B. Johnson on Aug. 6, 1965, the Voting Rights Act guaranteed active federal protection of Southern African Americans’ right to vote.

Although Johnson did support the Voting Rights Act, the critical push for the legislation came from the movement itself. SNCC’s community organizing of rural African Americans, especially in Mississippi, made it increasingly difficult for the country to ignore the pervasive, violent, and official white opposition to Black voting and African American demands for full citizenship. This, in conjunction with the demonstrations organized by SCLC, generated public support for voting rights legislation.

This brief introduction to Selma’s bottom up history can help students and others learn valuable lessons for today. As SNCC veteran and filmmaker Judy Richardson said,

“If we don’t learn that it was people just like us—our mothers, our uncles, our classmates, our clergy—who made and sustained the modern Civil Rights Movement, then we won’t know we can do it again. And then the other side wins—even before we ever begin the fight.”

▸ A longer version of this article is available on the Teaching for Change website.

This article is part of the Zinn Education Project’s If We Knew Our History series.

© 2015 The Zinn Education Project, a project of Rethinking Schools and Teaching for Change.

Emilye Crosby is a professor of history and the coordinator of Black Studies at SUNY Geneseo. Sy is die skrywer van A Little Taste of Freedom (University of North Carolina Press) and the editor of Civil Rights History from the Ground Up (University of Georgia Press).

Verwante hulpbronne

Sharecroppers Challenge U.S. Apartheid: The Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party

Onderrigaktiwiteit. By Julian Hipkins III, Deborah Menkart, Sara Evers, and Jenice View.
Role play on the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party (MFDP) that introduces students to a vital example of small “d” democracy in action. For grades 7+.

Stepping into Selma: Voting Rights History and Legacy Today

Onderrigaktiwiteit. Teaching for Change. 2015.
Introductory lesson on key people and events in the long history of the Selma freedom movement.

Selma, Lord, Selma: Girlhood Memories of the Civil Rights Days

Book – Non-fiction. By Sheyann Webb and Rachel West Nelson as told to Frank Sikora. 1980.
The moving story of two young girls who were caught up in the 1965 movement in Selma, Alabama.

Eyes on the Prize: America’s Civil Rights Years, 1954-1985

Film. Produced by Henry Hampton. Blackside. 1987. 360 min.
Comprehensive documentary history of the Civil Rights Movement.

Selma: The Bridge to the Ballot

Film. Produced by Bill Brummel. Learning for Justice. 2015. 40 min.
Documentary about the students and teachers of Selma, Alabama who fought for voting rights.

SNCC Digital Gateway

Digital Collection.
Historical materials, profiles, timeline, map, and stories on SNCC’s voting rights organizing.

March 11, 1965: Rev. James Reeb Dies in Selma

Rev. James Reeb died as a result of being severely beaten by a group of white men during Bloody Sunday in Selma two days earlier.

March 23, 1965: Selma to Montgomery March Continues

The Selma to Montgomery marchers traveled into Lowndes County, working with local leaders to organize residents into a new political organization: the Lowndes County Freedom Organization (LCFO).

March 25, 1965: Last Selma March

The Selma marches were three protest marches about voting rights, held in 1965.


How LIFE Magazine Covered the Selma Marches in 1965

The marches that took place in Selma never would have happened without Martin Luther King, John Lewis, Hosea Williams and the cadre of civil rights leaders who organized the charge. They might not have happened if not for the tragic death of Jimmie Lee Jackson, and they certainly couldn’t have made the splash they did without the thousands of people who showed up to put feet to the pavement and march some at the cost of bodily harm, and two at the cost of their lives.

And their courageous actions would have gone unseen if not for the photojournalists on the ground to document the brutality they faced for the world to see. The images they created of Alabama state troopers rushing peaceful protestors like a monolithic mob, wielding weapons and riot gear that conjure war photography helped fuel the public outrage to which the Johnson administration had no choice but to respond.

LIFE’s coverage of the marches began in its March 19, 1965 issue, the cover of which shows a line of solemn marchers, two by two, disappearing over the horizon as helmeted troopers look on. By the time the issue was published, the protesters had made two attempts to march.

The first, on March 7, later referred to as “Bloody Sunday,” ended with troopers attacking the marchers in a scene that was nothing if not savage, sending 17 to the hospital with injuries. The second, two days later, ended in peaceful prayer, with King ordering the marchers to halt so as not to defy a pending restraining order. This day would come to be known as “Turnaround Tuesday.”

The March to Montgomery began on March 21, two days after the issue was published, and ended on March 25 at the Alabama State Capitol Building. As LIFE described the convergence of nuns, students and Americans of all races the following week in Selma, “In all the turbulent history of civil rights, never had there been such a widespread reaction to the doctrine of white supremacy.”

The photographs, by Charles Moore, Flip Schulke and Frank Dandridge, offered the magazine’s 7 million readers no equivocation as to what it meant to be black in America in 1965. And the images of violence, solidarity, prayer and resilience achieved the greatest results a photograph can hope to achieve: empathy, understanding and above all, social change.

‘Selma Starts the Savage Season,’ LIFE, March 19, 1965

LIFE Magazine

‘Selma Starts the Savage Season,’ LIFE, March 19, 1965

LIFE Magazine

‘Selma Starts the Savage Season,’ LIFE, March 19, 1965

LIFE Magazine

‘Selma Starts the Savage Season,’ LIFE, March 19, 1965

LIFE Magazine


Lessons for Today

This brief introduction to Selma’s bottom up history can help students and others learn valuable lessons for today. As SNCC veteran and filmmaker Judy Richardson said,

If we don’t learn that it was people just like us—our mothers, our uncles, our classmates, our clergy—who made and sustained the modern Civil Rights Movement, then we won’t know we can do it again. And then the other side wins—even before we ever begin the fight.

Federal protection for voting rights is still necessary.

In July 2013, the deeply divided United States Supreme Court gutted the Voting Rights Act in Shelby v. Holder, a case coming out of Alabama. Arguing in part that it is arbitrary and no longer necessary to focus exclusively on the former Confederacy, the court’s majority eliminated the pre-clearance requirement for nine Southern states. This means that the Justice Department is no longer responsible for (or allowed to) check new laws for racial bias. Given widespread efforts to block voting access, it may well be arbitrary to hold the former Confederate states to a different standard. But the response of those states—along with other forms of voter suppression throughout the country—makes it crystal clear that we still need robust, proactive tools to protect voting rights for all citizens, but particularly African Americans and others who are still targeted. Rather than being curtailed, the Voting Rights Act should be extended. No doubt future historians will look back at today’s voter ID laws and other forms of voter suppression (including Jim Crow voting booths) as a 21st-century version of the literacy tests, poll tax, and grandfather clause of the 20th century.

The Civil Rights Movement made important gains, but the struggle continues.

Current protests over police brutality and the disregard for Black lives the persistence of extreme economic and racial segregation and the tenacity of separate and unequal schools clearly demonstrate that although voting is necessary, it is not sufficient for addressing white supremacy and oppression of people of color. Unfortunately, the words of Ella Baker, one of the most important figures in the black freedom struggle, still echo today. In 1964 she asserted, “until the killing of black men, black mother’s sons, becomes as important to the rest of the country as the killing of a white mother’s son, we who believe in freedom cannot rest.” Baker’s words were captured in “Ella’s Song,” by Bernice Johnson Reagon, a SNCC field secretary and founder of Sweet Honey in the Rock. Although the context has changed, there are many direct links between the freedom struggle of the 1950s and 1960s and today’s issues. And millennial activists are creating a new movement that builds on the work of previous generations.

SNCC’s voter registration campaigns offer an important model for effective community organizing today.

Profoundly influenced by Ella Baker, SNCC workers put their bodies on the line to demand desegregation, refused to back down in the face of violence, and joined hands to work alongside an older generation, organizing around voter registration and community empowerment. Working with and learning from people who had long been marginalized, SNCC helped develop and support new leadership while challenging our country to move closer to its democratic ideals.


Geskiedenis en kultuur

Map of the historic march route from Selma to Montgomery (NPS, SEMO)

Dallas, Lowndes, and Montgomery Counties in the Early 1900s

In the years of post-reconstruction Jim Crow laws, suppression of African American citizens' right to vote through the use of targeted voter registration restrictions and intimidation was widespread in the American South. Because of this, 0% of the African American population in Lowndes County was able to vote, and only 2% percent in Dallas County.

The barriers to voting in the these counties had prompted Black community leaders in Selma to organize and create the Dallas County Voter's League, and by the 1960's, the movement gained national attention with civil rights groups and activists protesting in Selma in order to bring awareness to these voting injustices. Protests against voter registration discrimination increased in the county and nearby areas, with many of them often met by violence from the local sheriff's department, leaving many wondering what was going to happen next.
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The Murder of Jimmie Lee Jackson

On the evening of February 18 th , 1965 during a protest to free SCLC supporter Rev. James Orange from the Perry County Jail, in Marion, AL, Alabama state troopers violently broke up the demonstration, resulting in the death of Jimmie Lee Jackson, a civil rights activist and Perry County native. Jackson was shot in the abdomen and died from his wounds on February 26 th , 1965. In response to Jackson's death, a march to the Alabama Capitol in Montgomery was planned — Sunday, March 7th, was the chosen day for the first march attempt.
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First March Attempt

On March 7 th , approximately 600 non-violent protestors, the vast majority being African-American, departed from Brown Chapel A.M.E. Church in Selma with the intent on marching 54-miles to Montgomery, as a memorial to Jimmie Lee Jackson and to protest for voter's rights. As they crossed the Edmund Pettus Bridge, they were met by state troopers and local volunteer officers of the sheriff's department who blocked their path.

The non-violent protesters were told by Maj. John Cloud that they had two minutes to return back to their church and homes. In less than the time allotted, they were attacked by the law enforcement officers with nightsticks and teargas, violently driving them back into Selma. According to several reports, 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, where the violence continued for some time. Known as "Bloody Sunday," the attack caused outrage around the country, receiving large scale media coverage that garnered national sympathy for the civil rights movement.
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Second March Attempt

In response to the attack, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. called for another march on Tuesday, March 9 th . Known as "Turnaround Tuesday," Dr. King led a second march of approximately 1,500 protestors to the site of the Bloody Sunday attack where state troopers blocked the path of the march again. Deciding not to risk violent confrontation, members of the clergy led the group in prayer, after which, the group returned to Selma this time they were not attacked. However, that evening, three Unitarian ministers who had traveled to Selma in order to join the protest were attacked by a group of white hooligans. On March 11 th , Rev. James Reeb, died from his injuries.
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Third and Final March Attempt

The civil rights protestors sought and received protection for a third march, which was granted by Judge Frank M. Johnson, Jr. on March 17 th , which restrained Alabama state troopers and Dallas county sheriff from interfering with the march. On March 21 st , the official Selma to March began, with more than 4,000 protestors departing from the Brown Chapel A.M.E. Church to begin the five-day march. Marchers spent nights at four campsites along the trail — the final campsite on the outskirts of Montgomery had thousands more protestors waiting to join the marchers on the last leg of their journey.

On Thursday, March 25th, the last day of the march, the crowd making their way to the state capital building had grown to nearly 25,000 protestors. On the grounds of the capital building, Dr. King gave his Our God is Marching On speech, calling for the enfranchisement of African Americans with their voting rights, saying that it would not be long before the day would come when their fight for freedom and equality would be realized.

Passage of the Voting Rights Act of 1965

The march brought national attention to the voting rights struggle faced by African Americans, and the media coverage of the march and the violent protests leading up to it put pressure on Congress and the Johnson administration to take action on the issue. On August 6th, five months after the marches, President Johnson signed the Voting Rights Act of 1965 into law, making it possible for African Americans in the South to register to vote. After the passage of the Voting Rights Act, registration of African American voters in Central Alabama increased dramatically.


Kyk die video: MIJN NEUSCORRECTIE u0026 HORROSTORY MET FILLERS. SELMA OMARI


Kommentaar:

  1. Tausar

    Alles hierbo het die waarheid vertel. Kom ons bespreek hierdie vraag.

  2. Esteban

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