The Symbol of Selma: Then and Now


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In early 1965, Martin Luther King Jr.’s Southern Christian Leadership Conference  made Selma, Alabama, the focus of its efforts to enroll black voters in the South. That March, protesters attempting to march from Selma to the state capital of Montgomery were met with violent resistance by state and local authorities. Until 1965, counties in Alabama used preventive measures in order to avoid African-Americans from enrolling to vote. These protests were often met by violence from the local sheriff’s department, leaving many wondering what was going to happen next.

The 50th anniversary of this event was marked earlier this month.  How have we made progress in 50 years of advancing Martin Luther’King’s dream of civil rights? Martin Luther King did many things to bring greater equality to America and to verify civil rights for all people in any case of race. The major things that Martin Luther King did were to bring publicity to major civil rights activities and efforts, encourage and focus attention on the importance of non-violent protest and resistance, and of course provide leadership to the African-American civil rights movement. Martin Luther had a vision, a hope, an aspiration, that one day his children would “not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the pleased of their character.  50 years later we celebrate the march we have made and the courage it took to get us here.

How are we still in need of progress?  We are still in progress by helping out one another with no judgement of race. Minorities come in different kinds and forms. America is stronger when the majority in power respect the minority who are not well represented.

People think they have less rights because of their skin color, remembering our past reminds us we need to look out for the minorities that standout and need a voice.

The forms of discrimination that Martin Luther King helped to end were voting ,segregation on public places and  real estate discrimination.  Today blacks are widely accepted and integrated into society as a result of the work of people like Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Which groups of people are still being discriminated against in today’s America?

Sex orientation as well as immigrants trying to come to the US for a better life continue to be two groups who are seeking equality in Civil Rights today.

The original Selma march was interrupted by violence on March 7th 1965.  This day became known as “Bloody Sunday”.   Today we have crowds of demonstrators who react to individual acts of Police violence on young black men.  In some ways this shows a change for the better and in other ways it shows that racism has not gone away.

Why is it important to keep reminding ourselves as Americans of the Civil Rights struggles of the past?

To remind us of Martin Luther King and the struggle he faced to help each and one of us and not to be criticize by our race or the fact of how we act or look.

Martin Luther King, Jr. and Malcolm X meet bef...
Martin Luther King, Jr. and Malcolm X meet before a press conference. Both men had come to hear the Senate debate on the Civil Rights Act of 1964. This was the only time the two men ever met; their meeting lasted only one minute. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)