Selma celebrates 57 years since passing of Voting Rights Act

Published: Aug. 6, 2022 at 6:19 PM CDT
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SELMA, Ala. (WSFA) - On August 6, 1965, President Lyndon B Johnson signed the National Voting Rights Act into law, prohibiting discriminatory prerequisites to voting. People in Selma gathered to celebrate the milestone as the town played an essential role in the civil rights movement.

“Every day, there’s an attempt to try to destroy that same act,” Joanne Blackmon-Bland said.

Bland was a foot soldier who marched for voting rights for African Americans.

She mentioned voting is a right that should be continued to be protected because it represents people’s voices.

Women like Truth, Racial Healing & Transformation Selma Director Lydia Chatman and Foot Soldiers Park Director Kimberly Smitherman are continuing the momentum by making sure those who are eligible to vote can vote in every election.

“We’re going door to door, we’re canvassing, we’re registering people,” Smitherman said. “If people have felonies, they need their rights restored. We’re working to restore their rights.”

The last day to register to vote in Alabama before the 2022 election is October 24.

At the Selma Freedom Fest, a table was available to help people not only register to vote, but to get free school supplies and health screenings.

“We want all of our families to be well equipped as they enter into the new school year,” Chatmon said.

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