Monday, January 7, 2008

Student Civil Rights Tour

Civil rights tours are common in Selma. I was downtown this morning when I noticed this student group from California crossing the Pettus Bridge. Selma police closed one side of U.S. Highway 80 on the bridge to allow their trek. Prior to the walk, they read first-person experiences of the events of March 7, 1965, when marchers were met on the other side by state troopers and a county sheriff's posse. A melee ensued when marchers failed to turn around after being told they did not have a parade permit. Selma was a center for voting rights and civil rights demonstrations and marches in the 1960s and for years after.

13 comments:

Halcyon said...

A lot of Civil Rights events also happened here in Jackson. I believe the shooting of Medgar Evers was one of the events that really pushed the movement to the edge. It's nice to live in a place with so much history. I've really learned alot since I moved here and it's much more interesting than reading about it in books at school.

Southern Heart said...

That was such an interesting post...we have the Nat'l Civil Rights Museum here, so lots of activities going along with that, also.

TeamSplashi said...

It is great to see young people care about history.

Cheers from Rose City

Jim said...

I bet thats a history lesson none of them will soon forget.

Kala said...

I cant believe they actually close one side of the Highway for a tour but this must be a very interesting and informative tour.

Carlos Lorenzo said...

Thanks for reminding us about such important deeds in the history of civil rights. Nice perspective.

Jen, aka ChinaMom2005 said...

Nice to be in the right place to get this shot. Great shot too!

Rambling Round said...

Thanks for commenting.
This group is part of the 10-day "Sojourn to the Past" educational tour.

Halcyon, according to the website itinerary, they will be in Jackson on Thursday.

Southern Heart, they'll be in Memphis on Saturday.

They will be in Little Rock, Ark., on Friday at Central High School.

Kala, I had never noticed the highway closed for tourists before. Usually, the groups just walk across the bridge on the sidewalks. Apparently, this group was trying to re-create what it was like for the actual marchers in 1965.

The website says the group started its tour at Stone Mountain near Atlanta where the Ku Klux Klan apparently reorganized. (I just hope the carved likenesses of Confederate leaders Stonewall Jackson, Robert E. Lee and Jefferson Davis don't get dishonored because of that!)

Annie said...

That is an absolutely wonderful historical and sociological field trip and to think they were there all the way from California.

Dan said...

Wow, thanks for posting this. I am going to do a series on race relations here in McKinney later this year. Certainly not among the proudest moments in southern history. On the other hand it is amazing to see the real, substantive changes that have happened in just one generation.

Chris said...

Interesting! Nashville was in the center of a lot of activities, too, from what I understand. Nice photo.

I've tagged you for New Year's resolutions. See my blog (1/8) for information.

Jay said...

I lived in Montgomery as a child and had an aunt Teresa who loved puns and jokes. She would tell gullible Yankees that Montgomery was just a short march from Selma. Thanks for your work on your blog.

Rambling Round said...

Thanks for visiting, Jay. I understand there are plans to build a "short 11-mile" stretch strictly for marching between Selma and Montgomery as part of the historic route.