March On Selma By Maggie MacDonald

Before the March on Selma actually began on March 25, 1965, on January 2nd, 1965, Martin Luther King Jr. and the SCLC (Southern Christian Leadership Conference) joined the SNCC (Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee), and other civil rights activists for a voting rights campaign in Selma Alabama. Many African Americans fought for the ability to vote, but only 2% were able to go to the polls.

The campaign in Selma had mass arrests but little violence for the first month. The next month, however, had increased police attacks against non-violent protestors. During the night of February 18th, 1965, a state trooper shot Jimmie Lee Jackson while he was protecting his mother from a police baton. He died in a hospital in Selma eight days later.

Jimmie Lee Jacksons death caused an uproar of anger from civil rights leaders and the members of their organizations. On March 7th, 1965, civil rights activist John Lewis lead the march from Selma to Alabama's capitol Montgomery.

As protesters marched on the Edmund Pettus Bridge, they were met with a wall of police, state-troopers, and local lawmen. The law enforcement officers ordered the protesters to stop their march and disperse. When the protesters ignored their order, the law enforcement attacked them with tear gas and beat them with police batons, while white southerners cheered the police on from the sidelines.

Police waiting for the protesters to arrive.

Footage of the attack , called "Bloody Sunday" was broadcast worldwide through television, and sparked national outrage. People started questioning the president's authority, and why he couldn't fix things in America but was so willing to go to Vietnam.

Martin Luther King Jr. sent out telegrams and messages to religious leaders, asking them to join them on their "peaceful, non-violent march for freedom" (King, 7 March 1965).

Overall, the march lasted until March 21st, 1965. On August 6th, 1965, President Johnson signed the Voting Rights Act of 1965, which banned literacy tests and made it easier for African Americans to vote.

The Black Lives Matter movement can be look at as similar to Selma, as law enforcement keep killing unarmed black members of society. BLM has had 1,913 protests since the movement went public.

Sources:Selma to Montgomery March (1965) . (2017). Retrieved 26 April 2017, from

At least 1, 0. (2017). Read this list of 1,913 Black Lives Matter protests and other demonstrations. Elephrame. Retrieved 26 April 2017, from

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