what happened in selma, alabama and why


Tap here to turn on desktop notifications to get the news sent straight to you. Social studies educator, Hofstra University, my opinions, of course, are my own, Sign up for membership to become a founding member and help shape HuffPost's next chapter. 29 … They spent the next week destroying the arsenal and naval foundry. Wilson's forces captured a Confederate courier, who was found to be carrying dispatches from Confederate General Nathan Bedford Forrest describing his scattered forces. This injunction temporarily halted civil-rights activity until Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. defied it by speaking to a crowd about the struggle at Brown Chapel AME Church on January 2, 1965. Later, the Black community gathered in Brown Chapel AME Church. Mar 1, 2020, 8:12 pm As the Selma fortifications were built to be defended by 20,000 men, Forrest's soldiers had to stand 10 to 12 feet (3.7 m) apart to try to cover the works. Selma City Schools operates the city's public schools. The events at Selma helped increase public support for the cause; later that year the U.S. Congress passed the Voting Rights Act of 1965, a bill introduced, supported and signed by President Lyndon B. Johnson. L.L. The average household size was 2.44 and the average family size was 3.10. On center stage in this version of the story is Martin Luther King. Anderson of Tabernacle Baptist Church, J.L. This march represented one of the political and emotional peaks of the modern civil-rights movement. Finally, a Union cavalry charge broke the Confederate militia, causing Forrest to be flanked on his right. March 21, 1965 to March 25, 1965. As White liberals drifted away from the movement, Black communities were increasingly radicalized and less than a week after Lyndon Johnson signed the Voting Rights Act in August 1965 rioting broke out in the Watts neighborhood of Los Angeles. Just short of the bridge, they found their way blocked by Alabama State troopers and local police who ordered them to turn around. The median age was 36 years. Area attractions include the Old Town Historic District, Old Live Oak Cemetery, Paul M. Grist State Park, and Old Cahawba Archaeological Park. Later Anglo-Americans called it the Moore's Bluff settlement. The population density was 1,479.6 square miles (3,832 km2). In 1996 it was designated as part of the 'National Civil Rights Trail' by President Bill Clinton and is administered by the National Park Service. When state troopers met the demonstrators at the edge of the city by the Edmund Pettus Bridge, that day became known as "Bloody Sunday." In a national report on fair student funding, Alabama received a grade of "D," although it did get a "C" for effort. Almost 60 percent of Dallas County children live below the poverty line. We have reviews of the best places to see in Selma. Selma to Montgomery is a national historic trail in Alabama which traces the march of non-violent supporters of equal… He had placed Gen. Eli Long's Division across the Summerfield Road with the Chicago Board of Trade Battery in support. The complex history is reflected in naming and monuments as well. This activism generated national attention for social justice and that summer, the Voting Rights Act of 1965 was passed by Congress to authorize federal oversight and enforcement of constitutional rights of all American citizens. In March 1965, the Selma to Montgomery march became a watershed moment for the civil rights movement of the 1960s. As a teacher and teacher educator, I hope other teachers find this useful as they plan Martin Luther King Day lessons. Selma was incorporated in 1820. He is still at the bottom, despite the few who have penetrated to slightly higher levels. However, my greatest concern with the story told in the movie Selma is that it presents the final march from Selma to the Alabama state capital in Montgomery and the Voting Rights Act as a triumphant conclusion to the African American Civil Rights Movement. Jimmie Lee Jackson, who was unarmed, was killed in a café in nearby Marion after state police broke up a peaceful protest in the town. They were 8 feet (2.4 m) to 12 feet (3.7 m) high, 15 feet (4.6 m) thick at the base, with a ditch 4 feet (1.2 m) wide and 5 feet (1.5 m) deep along the front. [3] About 80% of the population is African-American. Violent crimes are more than double the national rate and crimes against property are 40% higher. Selma schools are not just poorly performing by Alabama standards but the situation is even more dire because by some measures Alabama itself has one of the poorest performing school systems in the United States. [12], Against fierce opposition from Dallas County Sheriff Jim Clark and his volunteer posse, blacks continued their voter registration and desegregation efforts, which expanded during 1963 and the first part of 1964. helped raise awareness of the difficulty faced by black voters in the South, and the need for a Voting Rights Act, passed later that year. Help. A group of at least nine people took part in the protest as Bloomberg spoke during a 55th commemoration of "Bloody Sunday" -- a historic civil rights march in … The city developed its own police force. The march was organised by Martin Luther King Jr., American Baptist minister and leader in the African-American Civil Rights Movement. They walked approximately 12 miles a day and slept in nearby fields. King was also in touch with the administration of President Lyndon B. Johnson, who arranged for protection for another march. We made it easy for you to exercise your right to vote. [9] All the members of the city council were elected by at-large voting. [23][25][26], The Selma-Dallas County Public Library serves the city and the region with a collection of 76,751 volumes. On Sunday, March 21, 1965, approximately 3,200 marchers departed for Montgomery. Marching in the front row with King were Rev. YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE... Ch 26 Lesson 1 and 3. The city government of Selma consists of a mayor and a nine-member city council, elected from single-member districts. And organizers say this year’s Jubilee — will be a global event. If you watch the film Selma as a way of commemorating the 50th anniversary of the march for voting rights in Selma, Ala., you may be interested to … Selma's Bloch Park was home to Southeastern League of Professional Baseball club the Selma Cloverleafs. In front of this was a 5 feet (1.5 m)-high picket fence of heavy posts planted in the ground and sharpened at the top. Other historical figures in this drama are assigned supporting roles (John Lewis), bit parts (the people of Selma), or play cartoon-like villains (George Wallace and J. Edgar Hoover) and King's foils (Lyndon Johnson). The federal government provided protection in the form of National Guard and military troops. The state ranks 49th in school funding and since 2008 leads the nation in state budget cuts to public education. In Selma, with a population of a little over 20,000 people, 80% of whom are African American, the official unemployment rate hovers at about 12%, more than twice the national average. Although director DuVernay stated that she intended the movie as art and not as history, I found no blatant inaccuracies, just some omissions. [clarification needed] [7]. The Selma iron works and foundry was considered the second-most important source of weaponry for the South, after the Tredegar Iron Works in Richmond, Virginia. Civil rights tourism has become a new source of business.[22]:146. When the war ended three weeks later, they were en route to Columbus and Macon, Georgia. Selma Interpretive Centre marks the beginning of the National Historic … Especially in the post-World War II period, legal challenges by the NAACP against Southern discriminatory laws enabled blacks to more freely exercise their constitutional rights as citizens. The Voting Rights Act was seen by White supporters of civil rights as a final victory, but for Blacks it brought little immediate change. Posted on 03/27/2008 10:36:25 AM PDT by TheDotte. There were 8,196 households, out of which 30.3% had children under the age of 18 living with them; 34.2% were married couples living together, 27.2% had a female householder with no husband present, and 34.8% were non-families. Meanwhile, General Upton, observing Long's success, ordered his division forward. Long's troops attacked in a single rank in three main lines, dismounted and shooting their Spencer's carbines, supported by their own artillery fire. Registration increased by November, when Wilson Baker was elected as Dallas County Sheriff to replace the notorious Jim Clark. Beginning in January 1965, SCLC and SNCC initiated a revived voting-rights campaign designed to focus national attention on the systematic denial of black voting rights in Alabama, and particularly in Selma. In 1920 the east-west Highway 80 was designated as part of the Jefferson Davis Memorial Highway. The Jim Crow laws and customs were enforced with violence. [23], As part of its Civil War history, a monument to native Nathan Bedford Forrest, a Confederate General, was installed in Old Live Oak Cemetery. The Europeans encountered the historic Native American people known as the Muscogee (also known as the Creek), who had been in the area for hundreds of years. Find what to do today, this weekend, or in January. The North had learned of the importance of Selma to the Confederate military, and the US military planned to take the city. In consequence, Negroes are still impoverished aliens in an affluent society." What happened in Selma is part of a far larger movement which reaches into every section and State of America. The Confederates replied with heavy small arms and artillery fire. The Federals suffered many casualties (including General Long) but continued their attack. The works had been built two years earlier,[clarification needed] and while neglected for the most part since, were still formidable. Altogether Wilson had 9,000 troops available for the assault. Things to Do in Selma, Alabama: See Tripadvisor's 1,921 traveler reviews and photos of Selma tourist attractions. There were 9,264 housing units at an average density of 668.3 per square mile (258.0/km2). The official website of Selma Alabama describes it as the "Queen City of the Black Belt" and the "Butterfly Capital of Alabama." Selma, Alabama. Industries in Selma include International Paper, Bush Hog (agricultural equipment), Plantation Patterns, American Apparel, and Peerless Pump Company (LaBour), Renasol, and Hyundai. Their cause must be our cause too. In modern times, the city is best known for the 1960s civil rights movement and the Selma to Montgomery marches, beginning with "Bloody Sunday" in 1965 and ending with 25,000 people entering Montgomery at the end of the last march to press for voting rights. As in other southern states, white Democrats regained political power in the mid-1870s after suppressing black voting through violence and fraud; Reconstruction officially ended in 1877 when federal troops were withdrawn. After the change, five African-American Democrats were elected to the city council, including activist Frederick Douglas Reese, who became a major power in the city; five whites were also elected to the council.[17]. In the darkness, the Federals rounded up hundreds of prisoners, but hundreds more escaped down the Burnsville Road, including generals Forrest, Armstrong, and Roddey. Ralph Abernathy, Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel, Greek Orthodox Father Iakovos (later Archbishop Iakovos of America) and Roman Catholic nuns. Some historians and political participants argue that the movie unfairly portrays President Johnson as a too pragmatic of a politician who used racial slurs and was willing to postpone legislation ensuring voting rights for African Americans. Forrest's defenders consisted of his Tennessee escort company, McCullough's Missouri Regiment, Crossland's Kentucky Brigade, Roddey's Alabama Brigade, Frank Armstrong's Mississippi Brigade, General Daniel W. Adams' state reserves, and the citizens of Selma who were "volunteered" to man the works. But history is much more complicated. He had been invited by local leaders to help their movement.[14]. The 1965 voting rights march from Selma to Montgomery, Ala., became known as Bloody Sunday because it ended in state troopers beating nonviolent protesters as … He quickly remounted his stricken horse and ordered a dismounted assault by several regiments. All rights reserved. life123abc. Led by Martin Luther King, Jr. , the march was the culminating event of several tumultuous weeks during which demonstrators twice attempted to march but were stopped, once violently, by local police. Because of its military importance, Selma had been fortified by three miles of earthworks that ran in a semicircle around the city. King pulled the marchers back from entering the county and having another confrontation with county and state forces. There is often no bottom at which to start, and when there is there's almost no room at the top. Seventeen marchers were hospitalized and 50 more were treated for lesser injuries. 32.6% of all households were made up of individuals, and 14.6% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. he would probably be just fine. Legal. These are big changes, but much has not changed. Wilson's force arrived in front of the Selma fortifications at 2 pm. The council's members were elected at-large by the entire city, and the white majority had managed to control the elections. On "Bloody Sunday" in 1965, Lewis was beaten by Alabama state troopers. Get directions, maps, and traffic for Selma, AL. As of the 2010 census, there were 20,756 people living in the city. The Mayor of Selma, George Patrick Evans, is African American, as is the City Council president, seven of the ten members of the City Council, the Chief of Police, and all five members of the school board. To the west, many Confederate soldiers fought the pursuing Union Army all the way down to the eastern side of Valley Creek. An Auburn man caught on camera while storming the U.S. Capitol Jan. 6 is now facing charges from the federal government, including civil disorder, entering a … 6 years ago. The movie Selma, directed by Ava DuVernay and starring David Oyelowo as Martin Luther King, Jr. was nominated for Academy Awards including best picture and best original song. The late US Rep. John Robert Lewis made his final journey on Sunday across the famous bridge in Selma, Alabama, where the towering civil rights … Selma was a trading center and market town during the antebellum years of King Cotton in the South. He began a running fight with Forrest's forces that did not end until after the fall of Selma. King's question, "Where Do We Go from Here? The retreating Confederate forces, upon reaching the inner works, united and fired repeatedly together into the charging column. By then local activists and residents had been joined by hundreds of protesters from across the country, including numerous clergy and nuns. Ten figures clambered over piles of rubble from the old cotton warehouse, picking up bricks. Forrest was wounded by a saber-wielding Union captain, whom he shot and killed with his revolver. The Black Belt, Dallas County, and Selma Alabama. What started as a virtual funeral, was transformed into a victory celebration as people joined together in singing "Ain't Gonna Let Nobody Turn Me Around." Gen. Emory Upton's Division was placed across the Range Line Road with Battery I, 4th US Artillery in support. The per capita income for the city was $13,369. A look at Selma, Alabama today, what has changed and what has not, points to the long road the United States and the American people still must travel to achieve the dream Martin Luther King spelled out in his 1963 speech at the Lincoln Memorial during the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom. 0 1. It is also not just a discussion of history. Thousands joined the march along the way. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 72.0 males. For every 100 females, there were 78.2 males. Located on the banks of the Alabama River, the city has a population of 20,756 as of the 2010 census. County law enforcement was run by an elected county sheriff, whose jurisdiction included the grounds of the county courthouse. George Corley Wallace State Community College (Wallace Community College Selma) located at the edge of the city limits near Valley Grande, Alabama. A year ago, Barack Obama addressed a group in Selma, AL commemorating the 1965 voting rights march. What Happened In Selma Alabama. Selma is located at 32°24′26″N 87°1′16″W / 32.40722°N 87.02111°W / 32.40722; -87.02111,[18] west of Montgomery. Well, Selma was in the car with Louie and they drove off a cliff and died, that's what happened to Selma. Altogether this force numbered less than 4,000. In the city, the population was spread out, with 27.3% under the age of 18, 9.7% from 18 to 24, 24.9% from 25 to 44, 21.8% from 45 to 64, and 16.3% who were 65 years of age or older. In Selma, the county registration board opened doors for registration only two days a month, arrived late and took long lunches. Two days after the first march, on March 9, 1965, Martin Luther King, Jr. led a symbolic march over the bridge. In the 20th century, African-Americans were also lynched for labor-organizing activities. In less than 30 minutes, Long's men had captured the works protecting the Summerfield Road. Selma, AL Directions {{::location.tagLine.value.text}} Sponsored Topics. This strategic concentration of manufacturing capabilities eventually made Selma a target of Union raids into Alabama late in the Civil War.[6]. US History Civil Rights Movement. [24] It was torn down in 2012, reflecting the continuing controversy about him. Middle schools include R.B. Highway 80, which runs east and west through Selma and the state has reflected this in naming patterns. Anonymous. In the 1960s, blacks who pushed the boundaries, attempting to eat at "white-only" lunch counters or sit in the downstairs "white" section of movie theaters, were still beaten and arrested. Threatened with a lawsuit under the Voting Rights Act, the council voted to adopt a system of electing its ten members from single-member districts. Taylor did so after giving Forrest command of the defense. Frank Minis Johnson, Jr., the federal district court judge for the area who reviewed the injunction, decided in favor of the demonstrators, saying: The law is clear that the right to petition one's government for the redress of grievances may be exercised in large groups ... and these rights may be exercised by marching, even along public highways. On March 7, 1965, approximately 600 civil rights marchers departed Selma on U.S. Highway 80, heading east to the capital. The 25,000 square feet (2,300 m2) library is in downtown Selma.[27]. Earthen forts were built to cover the grounds with artillery fire. A single gun from Upton's artillery would signal the attack to be undertaken by the entire Federal Corps. The tragedies and triumphs that took place in Alabama during the 1950s and 1960s awakened an entire nation to the reality of racial injustice and hatred that affected African-Americans all over the country. Even where the door has been forced partially open, mobility for the Negro is still sharply restricted. On March 7, 1965—the day now known as Bloody Sunday—a group of civil rights activists were brutally attacked by members of law enforcement during a peaceful march across Edmund Pettus Bridge. But, Long decided to begin his assault against the Selma fortifications to neutralize the enemy attack in his rear. Their moral campaign had attracted thousands from across the country.[16]. Over forty percent of households are single parent families, compared to about 17% in the United States as a whole. The fighting there was heavy, but by 7 p.m. the superior numbers of Union troops had managed to flank the Southern positions. It was initiated and organized by James Bevel, SCLC's Director of Direct Action, who was directing SCLC's Selma Movement.

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