Selma, AL commemorates ‘Bloody Sunday’ civil rights march
Bryan Llenas reports on the fifty third anniversary of the march.
More than half a century ago, all eyes were on Selma, Ala., as the police brutally beat peaceful protesters, who were attempting to march across the Edmund Pettus Bridge on the way to the state capitol in Montgomery.
Among the nearly 600 demonstrators in 1965 was the 11-year-old Jo Ann Boring. She was playing outside Brown Chapel A. M. E. Church just before people started waiting in line for the march. Soft said as the group marched across the bridge, a line of cops refused to let them pass.
“I thought that the tear gas grenades were gunshots,” Boring told Fox News in her home in Selma. “I thought they were killing the people to the front because that is what we heard.”
Jo Ann Boring was 11 years old when she was a witness to the police beating of peaceful demonstrators during the ‘Bloody Sunday’ in Selma, Ala., on March 7, 1965.
More than 50 protesters were injured.
“There was nowhere to go, except to try to dodge the billy clubs, [and] the horses,” Bland added. “They walked the horses into the crowd, people were trampled. It was horrible, it seemed like it took forever.”
Soft says she had never experienced violence on that day on March 7, 1965. She often shares her story with visitors to the region by the private co-ordination of tours. Every year, hundreds of people for the annual re-enactment march across the bridge, a national historic site.
The lead of the group, in 1965, John Lewis — an organizer at the time, before he was a member of congress.
“We still have a distance to travel,” Lewis, D-Ga., said as he finished walking along the bridge. “It is always a great feeling to be back here. Because this is where people were, where they were beaten, [and] where they never gave up, [or] never gave up. They kept the faith, they kept their eyes on the prize, and with their blood they wrote a voting rights act.”
Lewis was one of the injured protesters on that day. The congress would go to the approval of the Voting Rights Act months later.
Rep. John Lewis speaking with journalists shortly after marching across the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma on Sunday.
icipation Lewis for the march was a bipartisan group of elected officials, including Sen. Doug Jones, D-Ala, Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, R-Wash., and much more.
Many of the people who lived through the tumultuous 1960s say that it is important for the younger generation to learn from past mistakes in history.
“This particular history is too important to the fabric of this country to be forgotten,” Gentle said. “If our future generations do not know where we have been as a nation, we are destined to repeat the same things. So, you have got to this history and use it as a foundation.”
Adanze Eke, 17, is one of the hundreds of people who traveled to Selma to take part in the annual march. She admits that her generation to do things differently than in the past, but notice how important it is to see things first hand.
“I think young people do a decent job now,” Eke said. “But they do [of] their phones. I think what we need to do is come here and see it for yourself.”
The Selma Bridge Anniversary will take place in the first week of March and attracts thousands of visitors to the city each year.
Willie James Inman, is a Fox News multimedia reporter based in Jackson, Mississippi. Follow him on twitter: @WillieJames