Monday, March 7, 2011

Bloody Sunday. March 7th, 1965. From Selma to Montgomery.

The march was a direct response to an Alabama State Trooper shooting Jimmie Lee Jackson (February 18th, 1965) who tried to protect his mother and grandfather after they had fled a civil rights demonstration that was being attacked by police. Jimmie Lee Jackson would die eight days later as a result of his gunshot wounds.

The first of three marches from Selma to Montgomery in Alabama began on March 7th, 1965. Organized by the Dallas County Voters League with assistance from Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. The marches were also organized to help support voting rights for African-Americans in the state of Alabama. The first march ended in violence as state and local police used billy clubs and tear gas to stop over 600 civil rights marchers. The day would be forever known as "Bloody Sunday"

A second march began on March 9th, 1965. "I'd rather die on the highways of Alabama then make a butchery of my conscience." Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

The second march would also end unsuccessfully. A third march would begin on March 21st, 1965. The march began with over 8000 people and by the time it would end - 51 miles and five days later, over 25 000 people would arrive in Montgomery, Alabama. On March 25th the marchers would arrive at the Alabama state capitol building where Dr. King would deliver his speech, "How Long, Not Long."

This being a blog primarily devoted to cinema I found the amazing footage of Stefan Sharff's documentary of the Selma to Montgomery marches on youtube. The footage is absolutely riveting.

The marches from Selma to Montgomery would prove to be a major watershed moment in the fight for civil rights. The world is a far better place because of all the people who took to U.S. Route 80.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for supplying these great videos!