Written by the Associated Press of Afro News – The Black Media Authority
Published on March 7, 2021
Bloody Sunday memorial, also known as the Selma Bridge Crossing Jubilee, honours civil rights legends who passed away 2020 and commemorates a crucial turning point in the Civil Rights movement. This memorial marks the 56th anniversary of Blood Sunday, where in March 7th1957 civil rights marchers were viciously beaten by law enforcement officials on Selma’s Edmund Pettus Bridge. Bloody Sunday incited wide support by the public for the Voting Rights Act after the abuses inflicted by law enforcement on Black citizens was recorded and witnessed on television. The late civil rights leaders who will be honoured are Rev. Joseph Lowery, the Rev. C.T. Vivian, and attorney Bruce Boynton.
The Reverend C.T. Vivian organized sit-ins against segregation in 1940s. In 1965 he led a group of civil rights marchers to a courthouse in Selma and confronted the local sheriff and advocated that they should be allowed to vote. The local sheriff punched him in the head.
Bruce Boynton was arrested for entering a white- segregated section of a bus station in Virginia. He contested his conviction, and this influenced the Supreme Court to abolish bus station segregation.
The march across the Selma bridge was fuelled by two incidents; the murder of two black citizens by law enforcement; one of whom was peacefully protesting and the second was shot trying to protect his mother.
Recently, some states have attempted to withdraw early and mail-in voting access. Although these efforts have been unsuccessful due to Voting Rights Act which requires that states must have federal approval for changes to voting procedure, it is worrying that people’s right and access to vote is being challenged. President Joe Biden will be releasing an executive order to promote citizens access to vote.
This memorial usually brings thousands of people to Selma but this year many of the events will be held virtually due to Covid-19 pandemic.