Sunday, May 3, 2009

More on Selma, Alabama

My friend Jackie Taylor has written a bit more about her experiences growing up in Selma, Alabama. Earlier I posted some of the pictures of her family.

In 1965, when she was 8 years old, she was present during Martin Luther King's Selma to Montgomery march for voting rights. She remembers seeing Dr. Martin Luther King standing in front of the Brown Chapel. She also witnessed some violence, and had to flee the crowds with her mother and brother.

On that day in 1965, about 600 civil rights protesters were attacked by police with tear gas and billy clubs. Five months later, President Lyndon Johnson signed the Voting Rights Act of 1965. Here are Jackie's words, and a few pictures.

"In March of 1965, I was 8 years old when Dr. Martin Luther King came to Selma, Alabama the small Southern town where I grew up. My mother, being a poet and bohemian character in the town, took my brother, Tony, and me to the Edmund Pettus Bridge to see, as she described it to us, "history in the making." One of the law enforcement officers came over to us, and told my mother she better get her kids and herself out of there. I can't remember my mother's exact words, but she "smart-mouthed" back to the officer.
When the marchers got to the other side of the bridge, we could hear yelling starting, and folks starting to run back over the bridge. Then there was tear gas, and police going through with billy clubs. My mother, holding us both by the hands, ran. I remember running, my brother, my mother and me, and hearing people yelling. The civil rights marchers on the other side of the bridge had been forced back by law enforcement, and the day would become known as, "Bloody Sunday."

One of the sayings I live my life by is, don't judge someone by the color of their skin ( or other prejudices ), but instead by the content of their character."

"This is my vivid memory of the march. Dr. King walking right past me." -J.T.

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