March on Selma Litha Sok

BACKGROUND INFORMATION:  Although, the Civil Rights Act of 1964 forbade discrimination in voting on the basis of race, black voters were still not able to register. In early 1965, Martin Luther King Jr.’s Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) made Selma, Alabama, the focus of its efforts to register black voters in the South. On February 18, white segregationists attacked a group of peaceful demonstrators. During chaos, an Alabama state trooper fatally shot Jimmie Lee Jackson, a young African-American demonstrator. In response to Jackson’s death, King and the SCLC planned a massive protest march from Selma to the state capitol of Montgomery.

WHEN&WHERE: SELMA, MONTGOMERY 1965- 3 separate marches(7th of March, 9th of March; both were quickly shut down) 3rd and final march: 21-25 of March with the help of National Guards.

GOALS: Raise awareness of the difficulty it was to register to vote faced by blacks in the South.

DAYS OF HOPE: For many, with words and music ringing in their ears, would return to the same hardships, discrimination, and violence. Those who continued to commit themselves to the marches would bring light to the ongoing struggles of ongoing social injustice.

PEOPLE INVOLVED: MLK’s involvement greatly increased the spread of awareness of voting faced by black in the south.

Overcoming Obstacles: Protesters attempting to march from Selma to the capital of Montgomery were met with violent resistance from local authorities. Brutal scenes were captured on television; thus, enraging Americans and drawing civil rights leaders to Selma. Their first attempt March 7: Protesters set out, but did not get far before being met with Alabama state troopers wielding whips, nightsticks and tear gas--- beating them back to Selma. King himself led another attempt on March 9, but turned the marchers around when state troopers again blocked the road. That night, a group of segregationists beat another protester, the young white minister James Reeb, to death.

PROGRESSION: State officials led by Wallace wanted to prevent the march from going forward, but a U.S district court ordered them they permit it. Lyndon B. Johnson also backed the marchers, even going on national television to pledge his support.Federalized Alabama National Guardsmen and FBI agents were on hand to provide safe passage for the march. Some 2,000 people set out from Selma on March 21, protected by U.S. Army troops and Alabama National Guard forces that Johnson had ordered under federal control. After walking some 12 hours a day and sleeping in fields along the way, they reached Montgomery on March 25.

LASTING EFFECTS: The March on Selma allows us to reflect on the struggles that happened then and ones present today. Later, in 1965 the Voting Rights Act was passed--- which guaranteed the right to vote. This greatly reduced the difference between black and white voters in the U.S. Also, it allowed greater numbers of African Americans to enter political life at all levels.

“That day, for a moment, it almost seemed that we stood on a height, and could see our inheritance; perhaps we could make the kingdom real; perhaps the beloved community would not forever remain the dream one dreamed in agony.” - James Baldwin, novelist and poet

JUSTICE FOR TRAYVON MARTIN: In 2012, Trayvon Martin(unarmed) was fatally shot by George Zimmerman, a neighborhood watch volunteer. #BlackLivesMatter was created in 2012 after Trayvon Martin’s murderer, George Zimmerman, was acquitted for his crime. The incident caused outrage throughout the country for months, and led to the conversation or U.S. race relations.

Tribute to BLM: The dress is adorned with 15 Black lives lost. In an effort to make sure to never make sure society never forgets these faces, their stories, and their families. Trayvon's face is clearly depicted on the midsection of the gown. Others include Sandra Bland and Michael Brown.

Modern Day Inequalities/Injustices: Today, blacks are still discriminated and deprived of basic human rights, and are left powerless.

#BLACKLIVESMATTER is to call to action and a response to the anti-black racism that permeates our society.

Events like the arrest of a 43-year-old man named Eric Garner, who was placed in a chokeholdby a white police officer on the sidewalk of Staten Island, New York, in July 2014. Garner can be heard on mobile phone video footage saying, “I can’t breathe." In turn, the video became viral and became a common phrase for protestors.

CITATIONS:

Day, E. (2015). "#BlackLivesMatter: the birth of a new civil rights movement." Web. Retrieved from https://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/jul/19/blacklivesmatter-birth-civil-rights-movement

History.com Staff. (2010). "Selma to Montgomery March." Web. Retrieved from http://www.history.com/topics/black-history/selma-montgomery-march?scrlybrkr=b97378a0.

History.com Staff. (2010). "Selma to Montgomery march begins." Web. Retrieved from http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/selma-to-montgomery-march-begins?scrlybrkr=b97378a0

Moll-Ramírez, V. (2017). "Teen Wears Black Lives Matter Inspired Prom Dress." Web. Retrieved from http://www.nbcnews.com/news/nbcblk/teen-wears-black-lives-matter-inspired-prom-dress-n750186?scrlybrkr=a995cdb6

Credits:

Created with images by TradingCardsNPS - "Civil Rights Marchers Selma to Montgomery March" • tammy anthony baker - "The Selma March to Montgomery began 51 years ago today #RightToVote #UseItWisely" • Ryan Vaarsi - "Rally for Trayvon Martin 6" • xddorox - "Black Lives Matter" • Fibonacci Blue - "Black Lives Matter"

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