A striking photograph is sweeping the internet. The image is from a time not so long ago, when people marched across a historical bridge to protest the racial injustices that continue to plaque our society decade after decade.
On a warm Sunday in March of 2015, thousands of marchers, government officials and other public figures gathered Sunday for a second straight day to commemorate the 50th anniversary of a brutal police assault on civil rights demonstrators that spurred the passage of the Voting Rights Act.
Starting from early morning, groups of people — some with locked arms, some in song, some taking to their knees to pray — began to march across Selma’s Edmund Pettus Bridge, the site of Selma’s “Bloody Sunday” march on March 7, 1965. By midafternoon, police said at least 15,000 to 20,000 people had joined the crush on and around the bridge, according to the Associated Press.
“Today we should be celebrating, but we can’t celebrate yet,” Martin Luther King III, the son of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., said at a memorial service Sunday at Brown Chapel African Methodist Episcopal Church.
“Our voting rights have been decimated,” King said.
Also in attendance was the outgoing U.S. attorney general, Eric H. Holder Jr., who criticized voting restrictions pursued by conservative lawmakers and what Holder called a “profoundly flawed” decision by the U.S. Supreme Court that weakened the federal government’s voting-rights enforcement powers.
“It has been clear in recent years that fair and free access to the franchise is still, in some areas, under siege,” Holder said at the memorial service. “Shortly after the historic election of President Obama in 2008, numerous states and jurisdictions attempted to impose rules and laws that had the effect of restricting Americans’ opportunities to vote — particularly, and disproportionately, communities of color.”
Jesse Jackson, one of many speakers at Brown Chapel on Sunday, called for a restoration of the Voting Rights Act and a renewed fight against poverty, which he called “a weapon of mass destruction.”
Now fast forward to 2020, where the BLACK LIVES MATTER initiative has touched the world, and black leaders are encouraging blacks to vote.
One of the most interesting things I’ve heard recently was while watching, “Becoming” on Netflix. During the documentary Michelle Obama said one of her most disappointing moments in the white house, was realizing that blacks weren’t very supportive when they were attempting to get laws passed that would help black people.