Selma 50th Anniversary

Bloody Sunday1Legislation removed barriers that had prevented black people from voting. Millions joined voting rolls across the country, and thousands went on to win elections to offices in city halls, state legislatures, Congress, and, eventually, the White House.

Rep. John Lewis, D-Ga., one of those beaten in Selma on March 7, 1965, told USA TODAY that “some of us gave a little blood on that bridge to redeem the soul of America, to make America better.”

Obama and others attending Selma events this weekend are expected to praise racial progress but also address many remaining challenges. The president and allies have accused some states of seeking to dilute minority votes through voter identification laws and various redistricting plans. The Selma commemoration also takes place amid tense police-minority relations across the country.

“Bloody Sunday” was a catalyst for the passing of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, paving the way for black voters across the country to exercise their right. Find out what led up to the event and the impact it had on American history.

Black voters, reliably Republican for decades following the Civil War, are now overwhelmingly Democratic. The Republican Party — once anathema in the South — is now predominantly white and dominant in many Southern states. Former president George W. Bush and other Republicans are scheduled to attend this weekend’s events in Selma.

Coming a year after the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Voting Rights Act of 1965 quickened the pace of integration in the United States, bringing social and economic benefits.

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About SouthernGirl2

A Native Texan who adores baby kittens, loves horses, rodeos, pomegranates, & collect Eagles. Enjoys politics, games shows, & dancing to all types of music. Loves discussing and learning about different cultures. A Phi Theta Kappa lifetime member with a passion for Social & Civil Justice.
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157 Responses to Selma 50th Anniversary

  1. Mythe in Selma with Bernice King

    Bernice King was there to be in the crowd. She patiently talked and took pictures with all who wanted, and she stayed as long as the people wanted her to. It had to have been a day of much reflection for her. Two observations: (1) At one point, one of Martin’s speeches came on the jumbotron, she turned to intently listen to hear the words that her father was speaking just like the rest of us needed to hear his words too on this day. (2) We had a brief conversation and as it relates to Martin’s Dream, she looked a bit disappointed. We all are…BUT, the dream continues…no turning back.

  2. Ametia says:


    50 years later, Selma’s struggle is not over

    “Where Do We Go From here: Chaos or Community?”

    The title of Martin Luther King Jr.’s last book, published in 1967 after Selma and after the passage of the Voting Rights Act, poses a perennially appropriate question — about our country’s struggle over race, of course, but also about our larger quest for justice.

    It is much better than the question President Obama rightly scorned on Saturday as he honored the 50th Anniversary of Selma’s Bloody Sunday in one of the most powerful speeches of his presidency. To ask if our current struggles, in Ferguson, Mo., and elsewhere, suggest that, “with respect to race, little has changed in this country” would sound absurd to those who lived through the oppression of the past.

    Neither the demonstrators nor the police who pummeled them as they crossed the Edmund Pettus Bridge in 1965 could have imagined that in 2015, an African American president would be leading the ceremonies memorializing the moment. They would have been just as astonished that the states of the Old Confederacy now send one African American to the Senate and 19 to the House, including John Lewis, whose beating on the bridge marked the beginning of his career as a national treasure.

    But politics rarely produces final victories, and even the victories that do endure are often partial. Thus did Obama insist that a true love of country entails a belief “that we are strong enough to be self-critical, that each successive generation can look upon our imperfections and decide that it is in our power to remake this nation.”

  3. Ametia says:


    lma50: Why the Left Cannot Escape Accountability in the Assault on Voting
    Spandan Chakrabarti | March 8, 2015

    The symbolism of an African American president addressing the nation on the 50th anniversary of Selma alone is powerful, but the president reminded us what the marchers in Selma and so many other places stood for: to give us – all of us – the right and the duty to vote which today, too few of us use. The right to vote is under attack now from the political Right, and we should fight it. But ideological Leftists in this country have been robbing the hope, faith and trust one requires in our nation’s future to make voting worthwhile, and their attacks have ramped up with the tenure of the nation’s first Black president. Allow me to tell why I believe that America’s discussion about race and the right and duty to vote cannot progress well without admitting this critical, though inconvenient, truth.

  4. LOOK, Y’ALL!

    WSJ columnist: Obama tainted Selma speech by complaining about voter suppression

    Conservative Wall Street Journal columnist Kimberly Strassel on Sunday asserted that President Barack Obama had made a mistake by talking about voter ID during his speech in Selma over the weekend.

    “Right now, in 2015, fifty years after Selma, there are laws across this country designed to make it harder for people to vote,” the president said at an event commemorating the events of “Bloody Sunday.”

    “As we speak, more of such laws are being proposed. Meanwhile, the Voting Rights Act, the culmination of so much blood and sweat and tears, the product of so much sacrifice in the face of wanton violence, stands weakened, its future subject to partisan rancor,” Obama pointed out. “If every new voter suppression law was struck down today, we’d still have one of the lowest voting rates among free peoples.”

    During a panel discussion on Fox News Sunday, conservative columnist George Will argued that activists had hijacked the death of Michael Brown in Ferguson, and it was part of growing trend of liberals lying about cases to push an agenda.

    “In Ferguson, the ‘don’t shoot’ fed the narrative about how the police are inherently dangerous to minorities,” Will insisted. “What the report demonstrates to me, by the way, is not, it seems to me, bias, but disparate impact.”

    Strassel agreed: “It’s like George said about the narrative. One of the unfortunate things about the speech he gave in Selma, and most of it was great, he actually made really good points, he was very rousing. But he just felt compelled and he had to throw in this argument that there’s still a big problem because of voter ID laws across the country.”

    “And that feeds another one of these narratives,” she continued. “Which is just simply not true, it’s not a central focus. If you look at 2012, black voter turnout exceeded that of white voter turnout. And in states with the strictest voter ID laws.”

    • Ametia says:

      The WSJ is a Rupert Murdock, right wing rag that caters to the rich & white Republicans and teabaggers.

      This bitch has never had to FIGHT for her right to vote. And of course it’s on FAUX Noise.

      BYE MOFOS Thanks for playing!

    • Liza says:

      They’re just a bunch of a$$holes trying to ruin the celebration by injecting their nonsense into a “conversation” that no one is having except them.

  5. Ametia says:

    The media can never deny these folks didn’t show up and march on that bridge. What the media will air and make a big stink about is a handful of Teabaggers roaming the grounds with signs or CPAC nutcases screaming anti= Obama rhetoric.



  6. Wow. Absolutely amazing! #Selma50. Now and Then.

    Selma. Now and Then

  7. Guess who’s on the Edmund Pettus Bridge? Whoa!

    Mythe in Selma

  8. Liza says:

    The pictures of this event are awesome.

    • Liza says:

      Yes, that’s George W. Bush who gutted the Civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice. Nice of him to show up but you can bet he’s clueless as to what all of this means.

  9. rikyrah says:

    Mr. NFTG @Kennymack1971
    Instead of people trying to give Republicans who showed up in Selma props for showing up, pressure them into fixing the VRA.

  10. rikyrah says:

    The White House ✔ @WhiteHouse
    “We’re the slaves who built the @WhiteHouse and the economy of the South.” —President Obama #MarchOn #Selma50

  11. rikyrah says:

    Lizz Brown @lizzzbrown
    Gosh @clairecmc has time 2go to #Selma50 but no time 2hold Press Conf or Issue statement about #FergusonReport #Ferguson #BlackLivesMatter

  12. rikyrah says:

    jennifer bendery ✔ @jbendery
    Sen. Scott says VRA & Selma shd be “de-coupled.” Coons: That’s like saying u honor vets while axing their health care

  13. rikyrah says:

    meta @metaquest
    I LOVE that President @BarackObama brought his daughters to experience the breadth and depth of those upon whom his presidency was possible.
    6:40 PM – 7 Mar 2015

  14. rikyrah says:

    Chips has a wonderful post on the speech:

    the president’s selma speech

    By Chipsticks 179 Comments

  15. rikyrah says:

    Joshua DuBois ✔ @joshuadubois
    FLOTUS grabbed potus’ right hand just before the speech. A quick, calming moment. Settled him for the remarks. #Selma50
    6:02 PM – 7 Mar 2015

  16. rikyrah says:

    Reginald Reaves Jr @RonReavesJr
    Race relations aren’t worse under Obama. His presidency caused hidden racists to come out and reveal what has always been there #Selma50
    3:30 PM – 7 Mar 2015

  17. rikyrah says:

    Dante Boykin @DanteB4u
    Ladies & Gentlemen, Our beloved 44th President of The United States of America, Barack H. Obama just set the nations soul on fire! #Selma50
    2:53 PM – 7 Mar 2015

  18. Ametia says:

    Re-posting here too!

  19. yahtzeebutterfly says:

    deray mckesson @deray · 33m 33 minutes ago

    “It requires the occasional disruption, the willingness to speak out for what is right. That’s America.” – Obama #Selma50

  20. vitaminlover says:

    That Secret Service is on their game today.

  21. Potus on FIRE! “We are the slaves who built the White House”.


  22. vitaminlover says:

    All those cell phones and I pods and I pads getting video of our First Couple

  23. vitaminlover says:

    He just lit that place up!

  24. yahtzeebutterfly says:

    Fifty years from Bloody Sunday, our march is not yet finished. But we are getting closer. Two hundred and thirty-nine years after this nation’s founding, our union is not yet perfect. But we are getting closer.

    Our job’s easier because somebody already got us through that first mile. Somebody already got us over that bridge.

    When it feels the road’s too hard, when the torch we’ve been passed feels too heavy, we will remember these early travelers, and draw strength from their example, and hold firmly the words of the prophet Isaiah:
    “Those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles. They will run and not grow weary. They will walk and not be faint.”

  25. vitaminlover says:

    You had better PREACH Mr, President!

  26. rikyrah says:

    PragmaticObotsUnite @PragObots
    Someone yelled out, “Go ‘head brotha man!” #Selma50

  27. rikyrah says:

    PragmaticObotsUnite @PragObots
    PBO got that Black Baptist Preach Diddy Bop going today! #Selma50

  28. I can’t stop crying…

  29. rikyrah says:

    DALAYYYY @TheToast2015
    I think it’s more important to ask why Hillary & Em aren’t in #selma50 than to ask why the GOP isn’t there.

    • rikyrah says:

      Monie @MonieTalks_1
      @PragObots @HlLLARY @metaquest Interesting since Blacks were the MOST loyal constituency to her husband. Just know they we notice it all.

  30. vitaminlover says:

    Lord have MERCY!

  31. vitaminlover says:

    Rep. Lewis has barely aged in these past 50 years. Black just don’t crack.

    • Liza says:

      Wow. This is one for the ages. The black POTUS arriving to speak at Selma to commemorate the 1965 civil rights march. No one would have ever predicted this, absolutely no one.

  32. If my parents were here to see the moment as the black President’s motorcade crossed the Edmund Pettus Bridge. They lived through this. They took the brunt of Jim Crow. *tears*

    • rikyrah says:

      I think of Mama, born and raised in the Police State known as Mississippi. I think of Daddy, who would have been 42 years old before he would have been able to vote if he had stayed in the state of his birth. I think of the many terrorized who did not live to see this moment.

  33. rikyrah says:

    Nerdy Wonka @NerdyWonka
    Watching the African-American First Family arriving at the Edmund Pettus Bridge in The Beast, is wow…wow…wow…WOW! #Selma50
    1:14 PM – 7 Mar 2015

  34. rikyrah says:

    Ben Bolton @BoltonSports
    President Obama and the First Lady get off Air Force One on their way to #Selma50
    12:57 PM – 7 Mar 2015

  35. majiir says:

    I’ve been to Selma many times because my mom was raised there. I remember visiting the family farm in Selma every summer when I was a kid. I was talking to my daughter about our family’s roots in Selma last night in a phone conversation, and you know, it’s a good thing when parents and kids discuss family history. My daughter had no idea about the depth of our ties to Selma and Tuscaloosa, or that we still have many relatives living in the two cities. After we talked, I was glad that we had because it had never occurred to me until then that I needed to pass on more details about our family’s history in Selma. I plan to do it more often in the future.

    One thing about the president going to Selma to observe the 50th anniversary that irks me is why more republicans refused to show up. It’s their history, too. I finally reached the conclusion that there are likely two main reasons they didn’t bother to attend the event. First, they probably consider it to be a “black thing,” and second, they don’t want to be seen doing anything with PBO for fear that their nutty supporters will attack them. If they’re asked if their lack of support is divisive, they’ll deny it, all the while knowing that it is. With their bailing out on the Selma 50th Anniversary celebration, their silence on the DOJ Ferguson report, and all of the other attacks they’ve made on POC, especially our beloved president, they can forget about getting a majority of minorities to vote for GOP/TP politicians for many, many years.

    • yahtzeebutterfly says:

      Wonderful that you are helping your kids to learn about their roots to Selma, majiir!

  36. vitaminlover says:

    Am going to watch my President speak.

  37. rikyrah says:

    I hope that they are traveling in The Beast. The optics of it is chilling.

  38. My little Haley about #Selma

    Black people are tough.
    They try & try again, they never give up
    And then they get their breakthrough 

    • Liza says:

      Fifty years is a damn long time. And it’s time for this struggle to be resolved and put to rest. This fight can’t go on forever, folks can’t be demanding their human rights forever, people can’t march and protest endlessly for WHAT SHOULD BE THEIRS TO BEGIN WITH.

    • Liza says:

      SG2, I put this in the wrong place. It is supposed to be standalone, not a response to Haley.

      • Haley has me in tears already. That’s from a 9 year old.

      • Liza says:

        I know, it is absolutely incredible what children are capable of understanding. I just wish that Haley lived in a time when she didn’t even have to think about this except as a historical event. Selma was a triumphant moment, to be sure, a testament to the resolve and resiliency of African Americans. And we still see it today, in the descendants of that generation as well as previous generations. It’s in their DNA, and it’s time for the glory to come.

      • Liza says:

        Yeah, me too. I just feel very strongly that the time is now. The momentum is there, that’s for sure.

    • Ametia says:

      Haley, speaking TRUTH for the WIN!!!!

    • rikyrah says:

      Go Haley

  39. Ametia says:

    A powerful & HAUNTING Gallery and videos, SG2. Thank you!

    The only difference in these photos from 1965 & 2015 is that they are IN BLACK & WHITE.


  40. yahtzeebutterfly says:

    Wonderful photo gallery and video! Thank you for posting about this most important anniversary!

  41. One day when the Glory comes
    It will be ours, it will be ours
    OOh One day when the war is won
    We will be sure,we will be here sure
    OOh Glory…

    • Ametia says:

      FYI, Claire McCaskill was on MHP earlier. She’s in Selma. today.

      She needs to take her ass back to Ferguson and work on getting some folks behind BARS!

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