56 years later, activists and leaders remember Selma’s Bloody Sunday
0 Comments
“As we reflect on the anniversary of Bloody Sunday, we must stay focused on the work ahead.”

Image: Michael M. Santiago/Getty Images

By Alison Foreman

On March 7, 1965 — 56 years ago — the late John Lewis led one of the most pivotal demonstrations in American Civil Rights history. Now, in 2021, political leaders and social justice advocates are remembering that day as they continue the fight against racial inequality and work to end voter suppression.

“Fifty-six years after Bloody Sunday, our march is not yet over,” tweeted former President Barack Obama Sunday morning. “There are more steps to be taken, more bridges to be crossed.”

On that March day in 1965, Lewis and more than 600 marchers crossed the Edmund Pettus Bridge along Route 80 in Selma, Alabama. The group, which included activists Amelia Boynton Robinson and Hosea Williams, was subsequently attacked by state troopers in an act of violence that would come to be known as “Bloody Sunday.” 

News coverage of the attack, which showed the severity of injuries incurred by Lewis, whose skull was fractured; Robinson, who was beaten unconscious; and others, outraged the nation and propelled the passage of the Voting Rights Act of 1965.

Fifty-six years after Bloody Sunday, our march is not yet over. There are more steps to be taken, more bridges to be crossed. And that’s why the Obama Presidential Center is designed to honor the giants who carried us and inspire the next generation to lead us forward. pic.twitter.com/0ac3aWgCY0

— Barack Obama (@BarackObama) March 7, 2021

“The legacy of Selma is that while nothing can stop free people from exercising their most sacred power as citizens, there are those who will do anything they can to take that power away,” President Joe Biden tweeted on Sunday, along with a pre-taped address announcing an executive order designed to promote voter access.

“As we reflect on the anniversary of Bloody Sunday, we must stay focused on the work ahead.”

The legacy of Selma is that while nothing can stop free people from exercising their most sacred power as citizens, there are those who will do anything they can to take that power away. As we reflect on the anniversary of Bloody Sunday, we must stay focused on the work ahead. pic.twitter.com/DDn1LFfqmi

— President Biden (@POTUS) March 7, 2021

Tweets about that “work ahead” dominated conversation Sunday, as activists and public figures voiced their support for continued progress and protections for Black Americans.

On #BloodySunday, we commemorate the indomitable foot soldiers +leaders who met hatred on that bridge. We honor their fight when we demand justice, exercise our power & refuse to turn back. Yesterday, we rescued America for a time. Next, we make it permanent with #HR1/SR1 & #HR4.

— Stacey Abrams (@staceyabrams) March 7, 2021

This year’s #BloodySunday commemoration is the first without civil rights legends Congressman John Lewis, Rev. Joseph Lowery, Rev. C.T. Vivian, and Bruce Boynton, who all passed away in 2020.

We remember and honor them – today and always. #Selma56 👑 pic.twitter.com/83YbTMWzaO

— The Leadership Conference (@civilrightsorg) March 7, 2021

History remixes on the 56th anniversary of Bloody Sunday.

1965.

To the left, Alabama state troopers. To the right, voting rights marchers.

2021.

To the left, GOP voter suppression policies. To the right, American voters.

We know what happened in 1965. What will happen in 2021? pic.twitter.com/TqmZhssCdV

— Ibram X. Kendi (@DrIbram) March 7, 2021

Today, 56 years on from Bloody Sunday, it is absurd that we are still fighting for the right to vote. Not only is it our duty to keep fighting to end voter suppression in all its forms — we must also work to expand our democracy and make it easier for all our people to vote.

— Bernie Sanders (@BernieSanders) March 7, 2021

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *