SELMA: America’s Journey For Freedom

25th March marks an honorable and inspiring moment in American history, which brought men of every race and faith to stand with embattled Negroes.

This day, 25 March, marks a significant moment in the struggle against racial injustice for Black Americans in all America, the 1965 Selma march to Montgomery, which was led by Dr. Martin Luther King Junior.

A delegation of tens of thousands of peaceful demonstrators led by Dr. King reached their final destination, the steps of the capitol in Montgomery, after a meticulously planned 5-day, 54-miles march from Selma, Alabama.

The campaign coordinated by the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC), the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC), the Dallas County Voters League, and other local African American activist groups was organized to protest the lack of voting rights for local African Americans in Selma.

Prior to the historic march to Montgomery multiple attempts by Black Americans in Selma to nonviolently express their discontent over the lack of voting rights were met with brutal force from local law enforcement under Sheriff Jim Clark, which often led to deaths of the innocent demonstrators.

On 21 March, after failed attempts by local officials to prohibit the march Dr. Martin Luther King and a group of thousands of demonstrators set out for Montgomery from Selma with one goal – to march for freedom.

The result of the courage and resilience of these great civil rights heroes, who had come from all races and works of life to march in the face of danger, led to passing of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, which, according to President Lyndon B. Johnson, is the ‘‘the most powerful instrument ever devised by man for breaking down injustice and destroying the terrible walls which imprison men because they are different from other men.”

The sacrifices made against racial prejudice by that generation of activists were proved through their steadfastness to march over 50 miles for freedom in spite of menace to their safety.

This march and many others that preceded it mark the long struggle for racial justice and equality in America, a struggle that is indeed alive in our generation.

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