50th Anniversary of the March on Selma – March 7, 2015

50th Anniversary of the March on Selma – March 7, 2015
In 1965, the eyes of the nation watched as thousands of ordinary people took to the streets of Selma to march for voting rights.

On March 7, Reverend Hosea Williams and John Lewis stepped from the pulpit of Brown Chapel Church and led a group of 600 toward Montgomery. After just six blocks, when they crossed the now infamous Edmund Pettus Bridge over the Alabama River, Sheriff Jimmy Clark’s deputies and state troopers dispatched by Gov. Wallace attacked the group with nightsticks and tear gas, injuring dozens. The violence stopped the marchers’ first attempt, but they would not be silenced or stopped for good.

The event came to be known as “BLOODY SUNDAY”. Two weeks later, under the protection of Alabama National Guardsmen and Army troops, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. set off again from Selma and marched 54 miles along U.S. Hwy. 80 to Montgomery.

At 1:25 pm on March 25, 1965, the crowd then gathered without incident in front of the Alabama state capitol and by that time was 25,000 strong.

Not long after, President Lyndon Johnson signed the Voting Rights Act into law.

The March continues. Civil Rights of 50 years ago and today provide moving examples of what ordinary people can do.

An opportunity to participate in a re-creation of the March on Selma

The Round Rock Black History Organization commemorates the 50th anniversary of the March from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama, with an afternoon of activities. Guests or congregations are invited to participate in an afternoon of activities commemorating this historic event, which took place in 1965.

The Mays Street bridge will be closed for the duration of the march. The march will begin at noon and proceed onto Main Street and into Sharon Prete Plaza. After arriving at Prete Plaza, the program portion of the afternoon will include the reading of a mayoral proclamation in recognition of the event and voter registration.

Members of the community can also share their personal memories of Bloody Sunday. A keynote speech on the marches is offered by Dr. Calvin Kelly from St. Edward’s University. The worship portion of the program features Sweet Home the Pinnacle of Praise’s Voices of Worship choir. Following the choir’s performance, Pastor Keith Ferguson from City View Bible Church provides words of encouragement and reflection. The program closes with a performance by the Round Rock Ballet Folklorico.

For more information contact Bobby Sams, 512-671-3345 or bobbysams@prodigy.net.

At Selma, Alabama on March 7, 2015

President Barack Obama and Former President George W. Bush will join in the reenactment of the March on Selma on March 7 for the 50th anniversary of the voting rights marches.

Bush and his wife, Laura, will join a large, bipartisan congressional delegation for part of a three-day civil rights pilgrimage to Alabama, according to Robert Traynham, a spokesman for the Faith and Politics Institute in Washington, which is organizing the event.

The Faith and Politics Institute, a bipartisan, interfaith nonprofit focused on racial and political reconciliation in Congress, has organized the pilgrimage every year since 1998.

“MARCH TO FREEDOM” CIVIL RIGHTS EXHIBIT – February 27 – April 15, 2015

Lyndon B. Johnson Library (LBJ);  2313 RED RIVER ST, Austin, Texas 78705

In honor of Black History Month, a new exhibit by UT Austin’s Briscoe Center and the LBJ Presidential Library celebrates the 50th anniversaries of the civil rights marches in Selma, Alabama, and the 1965 Voting Rights Act.

“March to Freedom” features rare photographs of the “Bloody Sunday” Selma-to-Montgomery march (March 7, 1965), documents, quotes, and images that celebrate subsequent marches, and photos from the LBJ Library’s 2014 Civil Rights Summit.

Through the words of Congressman John Lewis, former head of Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) and through the camera of James “Spider” Martin, “March to Freedom” follows a determined and undaunted group of marchers, both black and white, as they try on three different occasions to take their cause to Montgomery and the steps of the Alabama Statehouse.

Their peaceful demonstrations attracted media coverage, particularly when they were met with violent opposition, which helped garner the support necessary for the passage of voting rights legislation. The Selma-to-Montgomery marches for voting rights represent the political and emotional peak of the modern civil rights movement, which opened the door for the signing of the Voting Rights Act on August 6, 1965.

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