Selma to Montgomery March Theo Forkuo

What led up to this event?

The causes leading up to this march first began after the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which ended segregation all across the United States. After segregation ended, voting rights were the only topic that was still denied to blacks in America. On January 2, 1965. Martin Luther King Jr. and the SCLC joined the SNCC and other African Americans in a campaign for voting rights for the African American race in Selma, Alabama. The team of blacks repeatedly registered to vote, but the end result lasted with only two percent on the voting rolls. The SCLC chose to mainly focus on Selma because of the anticipation of violence from police under the order of Sheriff Jim Clark could attract the attention of the whole country to pressure president Lyndon B. Johnson to allow a new law for voting rights. The campaign in Marion, Alabama resulted in multiple arrests and little violence in the first month, which changed in February. Police intervention and attacks increased. On February 18 Alabama state troopers joined police in a plan to intervene on the march, and a state trooper shot a deacon at a church in Marion, Jimmie Lee Jackson while he was trying to protect his mother, Jackson died 8 days after the event.

What were the dates and locations of this event?

The Selma to Montgomery march began on March 7, 1965 after Jackson's death, it was a plan to march from Selma to the state capitol in Montgomery, Alabama. Hosea Williams, Martin Luther King's friend, and John Lewis, the leader of the SNCC, took over the march while King was in Atlanta, Georgia. The marchers were stopped in Edmund Pettus Bridge by state troopers who were ordered to stop the protesters, when the marchers refused to turn back the troopers attacked them with tear gas and also by beating them, this event was referred to as Bloody Sunday. King and Selma activists attempted to retry the march two days later, and Fred Gray restrained the march until March 11, 1965. On March 21, 1965 the march was reinstated, protected by national guards the marchers took off from Selma. The protesters reached 7 to 17 miles a day, camping in farms overnight, then arriving to the Alabama state capitol on March 25, 1965.

Map of the Selma to Montgomery protest march

What were the goals of the march?

The entire purpose of the march was to protest against African Americans being denied of voting rights. The march to Montgomery was to somewhat force president Lyndon B. Johnson to change the legal voting rights for blacks.

Who was involved in this event?

Martin Luther King jr., the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC), Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC), and other African Americans helped to organize the events. This was a planned protest to march to Alabama's capitol building in Montgomery.

What were obstacles they had to overcome?

Some obstacles the protesters had to face were being beat mercilessly everyone time they were stopped by police on the bridges, but they ignored this problem and continued to protest no matter the circumstances. Another problem the face before the protest march was segregation by American citizens. The way blacks choose to handle this problem was by getting help from the government to change the segregation laws.

Outcome/Lasting impact of the protest march

The permanent impact the march left was that blacks finally received legal voting rights. On August 6, 1965, President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the Voting Rights Act of 1965, which allowed all legal citizens in the U.S. to vote, and banning all tests meant to segregate blacks from voting in America. The lasting effects from this march on the modern world today are now everyone has legal voting rights in the U.S.

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