On this day 50 years ago, 600 marchers stared down a line of state troopers armed with billy clubs and tear gas as they crossed the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Alabama.
En route to Montgomery, the marchers gathered for the trek to the capitol in protest of segregationist tactics that denied African Americans the right to vote. The line of armed officers created an impermeable barrier and, after charging the crowd, left more than 50 people battered, bruised and in need of hospitalization. Televised and witnessed by the nation, the violence was eternalized as a cornerstone in civil rights history. Bloody Sunday made Selma the voting rights battleground of 1965. (Source: Read more)
Amelia Boynton Robinson was nearly beaten to death in 1965 during the first march in Selma, Alabama, led by Martin Luther King Jr. She was 53 years old at the time. A graphic photo of Boynton Robinson, severely beaten and collapsed, spread around the world and became an iconic image of the civil rights era.
Boynton Robinson survived the brutality and chaos of the time and is alive today to talk about it, at 103 years old. One of the nation’s oldest civil rights activists, she remains an essential figure of the movement. She was one of the first people to urge King to travel to Selma in the first place, and was also the first woman and first African-American to ever run for Congress in Alabama. (Source: Read more)