29 Historic Places For Black History Month: Edmund Pettus Bridge


Edmund Pettus Bridge

February 4th, 2016

Edmund Pettus Bridge

Edmund Pettus Bridge

why was it historic?

          The Edmund Pettus Bridge aka The Selma Bridge was built in 1940. It was designed to connect as a passage for route 80 over the Alabama River. The bridge gets all of it’s glory for being a symbol of hatred and segregation. There is really nothing special about the bridge in terms of design. However, the incline towards the middle of the Bridge played a huge part in the events of what is often referred to as “Bloody Sunday”. The date was March 7th, 1965 500 + Civil Rights Marchers began their trek from Selma, Alabama into Dallas County, Alabama to protest the injustices of Black Voting Rights. Keep in mind that this bridge was actually named after someone who in the KKK (Klu Klux Klan) that should give you an idea of how terrible things were in Selma, Alabama.

          In a March led by Civil Rights Activists Hosea Williams, Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) & John Lewis, Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) the marchers began to peacefully march accross the Edmund Pettus Bridge. As they reached the middle of the Bridge, they began to see Police and citizens patrols guarding the other side of the Bridge. March leaders prepping for the worst but praying for the best continued to march into Dallas County, Alabama. Where they were harrassed & assaulted by Police and others. This peaceful march led to numerous people getting injured some worst than others. However, that didn’t stop them from reorganizeing and marching again 2 days later on March 11, 1965. This time with 5 times the marchers and Dr. Martin  Luther King Jr. joined them in a peaceful march but only halfway up the bridge.

          There was a total of 3 marches in Selma, Alabama which eventually led to the enactment of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 which prohibits racial discrimination in the voting process. No one receives anything without doing something, especially when it came to Civil Rights for all minorities of this nation.

Location: Selma, Alabama

Then photo:

Edmund Pettus Bridge Circa. 1965

Edmund Pettus Bridge Circa. 1965

Now Photo:

Edmund Pettus Bridge

Edmund Pettus Bridge

Commentary:

Can’t imagine not having a lot of the liberties that our predecessors fought for. Makes you feel real guilty if we don’t exercise this precious right to vote when the opportunity presents itself. I’m very grateful for the sacrifices that were made so that i can write about these historic moments in time, without a first hand account of what it must have felt like. On the Selma side of the Bridge The National Voting Rights & institute was established so that we may not forget our past. #Thankyou. 

http://www.nvrmi.com

National Voting Rights Museum and Institute. Selma, Alabama, USA

National Voting Rights Museum and Institute. Selma, Alabama, USA

 

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