MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - This week a movie will be released nationwide telling the story of an important milestone in our country's history. Some 50 short years ago the epicenter of the civil and voting rights movement was in our backyard - Selma, Alabama. The movie being released this Friday is titled "Selma."
On March 7th, 1965 some 600 peaceful protestors gathered to conduct a voting rights march from Selma to the state capital here in Montgomery. These protestors were met by Alabama State Troopers and Dallas County police officers on top the Edmund Pettus Bridge. The protestors did not get far, as they were beaten back to town with nightsticks, whips and tear gas on a day known as "Bloody Sunday."
It's worth noting that after a second failed attempt to cross the bridge thousands did march across the Edmund Pettus Bridge without incident and a large number continued marching on another 54 miles over fours day all the way to Montgomery.
In wake of such violence and brutality against American citizens of color then President Lyndon Johnson called for comprehensive voting rights legislation. In August of that same year, 1965, President Johnson signed the Voting Rights Act into law with Reverend Martin Luther King and other civil rights leaders in attendance.
My hats off to those that had the courage to demand change and those in power that were willing to make it so. Our country needed to do better and be better for all citizens and 50 years ago in Selma, Alabama that change began.