Mar. 7 – Selma

Gay Lynn HillAmerican History(BR), Bell Ringers

On Mar. 7, 1965, Civil Right marchers left Selma for Montgomery, Alabama to protest lack of voting rights for African Americans.

In 1965, Civil Rights demonstrators engaged in three marches from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama to protest restrictions on black voting rights. During the first march, authorities violently attacked the marchers, beating one of the organizers, Amelia Boynton, into unconsciousness as she attempted to cross the Edmund Pettus Bridge.

The second march took place without similar incident, but following the march, James Reeb, a minister from Boston, was murdered.

The third march began Mar. 21, and was carried out over three days under the protection of the National Guard. The Selma marches were an essential part of the effort to establish equal rights for African Americans, and led directly to the Voting Rights Act of 1965.



Questions:
  1. The American Revolution commenced under the slogan, “No Taxation without Representation!” The authorities in Alabama tried to suppress the marchers by saying they were disobeying the authority of government. How do you think the American Revolutionaries would have responded?
  2. Today, race is no longer a justification for limiting the right to vote. Do you think this makes our government more legitimate? In what ways? Does democracy (rule of majorities) itself confer legitimacy on government actions? Or are their other “natural rights” which must be adhered to for a government to be legitimate? If so, what are some of them?

Image Citation:

6, Mar. 2018, Selma March [Digital photograph].  Retrieved from <thedailybest.com>.