Dallas Selma march
JESSICA NGBOR | 3/9/2015, 8:16 a.m.
The Dallas Examiner
In honor of the 50th anniversary of the historic Selma to Montgomery march, the founders of Faith Friday, Dr. Juanita Wallace and Akwete Tyehimba, will host “March for the Right to Vote.” Faith Friday is an organization dedicated to alleviating community issues. The march will take place on Friday from noon until 2 p.m. along the Continental Bridge.
Wallace revealed that they had the opportunity to actually re-enact the Selma to Montgomery March in Selma, but chose to stay at home and do it in Dallas in hopes to raise consciousness of how important voting is to Dallas residents.
There will be singing, chanting and flags as well. Clergy and special guest speakers include Rev. Holsey Hickman, Rev. Peter Johnson, Rev. Mark Walz, a scripture from Rev. Rodger Weems, a scripture from Nethel Jacson, spoken words from Philesha and a song from Clara McDade.
The group hopes Dallas residents will come out and participate in this march. Marchers will meet at Singleton Street and the march will begin at Beckley Avenue, west side to the east of the bridge, ending at Riverside Avenue. There is available parking on the west side of the bridge. Marchers are welcome to bring their own posters, but they will also be provided.
The Selma to Montgomery march was a landmark in the Civil Rights Movement. Three protest marches took place across the 54-mile highway in order for African Americans to receive their constitutional right to vote. Blacks were denied the right to vote with poll taxes, clauses and other tests.
The first march took place on March 7, 1965 and was nicknamed “Bloody Sunday” after 600 marchers were attacked with batons and tear gas by state troopers. The second march took place two days later. Although the troopers allowed marchers to pass the state line, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. led the group back to the church because he wanted protection by a federal court.
Rev. Clark Olsen, Rev. Orloff Miller and Unitarian Universalist Minister James Reebs from Boston were attacked later on that night and Reebs was killed. This caused a lot of uproar and commotion amongst the nation.
On March 15, former President Lyndon B. Johnson addressed the issue to congress and asked for the bill’s introduction and passage. The last protest was protected by the Alabama National Guard, FBI agents, the U.S Army, and the federal marshal and started on March 21. The Voting Rights Act was later signed by Johnson on Aug. 6, 1965.