The "Black Belt" region of the South runs from Virginia through the Carolinas, Georgia, Alabama, and into the delta of the Mississippi River including portions of Arkansas, Tennessee, Louisiana, and the northwest section of Mississippi. Today is National Voter Registration Day! Gen. Emory Upton's Division was placed across the Range Line Road with Battery I, 4th US Artillery in support. Selma March, also called Selma to Montgomery March, political march from Selma, Alabama, to the state’s capital, Montgomery, that occurred March 21–25, 1965. White families in Selma, and some of the more affluent Black families, send their children to the better performing Meadowview Christian School where the student population is over 90% White. This is not a movie review, although I do discuss the movie Selma. 32.6% of all households were made up of individuals, and 14.6% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. Selma maintained segregated schools and other facilities, enforcing the state law in new enterprises such as movie theaters. L.L. [11], In 1963, under the leadership of Patricia Swift Blalock, the public library of Selma-Dallas County was integrated. This march represented one of the political and emotional peaks of the modern civil-rights movement. It is the effort of American Negroes to secure for themselves the full blessings of American life. He began a running fight with Forrest's forces that did not end until after the fall of Selma. [clarification needed] Gen. Benjamin Grierson, invading with a cavalry force from Memphis, Tennessee, was intercepted and returned. The Federal commander's plan was for Upton to send in a 300-man detachment after dark to cross the swamp on the Confederate right; enter the works, and begin a flanking movement toward the center moving along the line of fortifications. In the 20th century, African-Americans were also lynched for labor-organizing activities. In the city, the population was spread out, with 27.3% under the age of 18, 9.7% from 18 to 24, 24.9% from 25 to 44, 21.8% from 45 to 64, and 16.3% who were 65 years of age or older. Over forty percent of households are single parent families, compared to about 17% in the United States as a whole. He credited the event with giving his parents the idea that they could have a child. Civil rights tourism has become a new source of business.[22]:146. As a result of the focus on King, two of the civil rights movement's more powerful vignettes, both covered in the documentary Eyes on the Prize, are left out of the movie. In 1901, the state legislature passed a new constitution with electoral provisions, such as poll taxes and literacy tests, that effectively disenfranchised most blacks and tens of thousands of poor whites, leaving them without representation in government, and deprived them of participation in juries and other forms of citizenship. March 21, 1965 to March 25, 1965. King pulled the marchers back from entering the county and having another confrontation with county and state forces. Anonymous. For every 100 females, there were 78.2 males. Whites made up one-third of the marchers. He was forced to retreat. In 1996 it was designated as part of the 'National Civil Rights Trail' by President Bill Clinton and is administered by the National Park Service. It is the effort of American Negroes to secure for themselves the full blessings of American life. Their moral campaign had attracted thousands from across the country.[16]. [10], In early 1963, Bernard Lafayette and Colia Lafayette of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) began organizing in Selma alongside local civil rights leaders Sam, Amelia and Bruce Boynton, Rev. Delays caused by flooding, plus earlier contact with the enemy, resulted in Forrest's mustering fewer than 2,000 men, many of whom were not war veterans but home militia consisting of old men and young boys. They left Selma heading to Montgomery. What started as a virtual funeral, was transformed into a victory celebration as people joined together in singing "Ain't Gonna Let Nobody Turn Me Around." They were 8 feet (2.4 m) to 12 feet (3.7 m) high, 15 feet (4.6 m) thick at the base, with a ditch 4 feet (1.2 m) wide and 5 feet (1.5 m) deep along the front. [5], During the Civil War, Selma was one of the South's main military manufacturing centers, producing many supplies and munitions, and building Confederate warships such as the ironclad Tennessee. The wall was high and deep, surrounded by a ditch and picket fence. he would probably be just fine. [23][25][26], The Selma-Dallas County Public Library serves the city and the region with a collection of 76,751 volumes. Forrest's defenders consisted of his Tennessee escort company, McCullough's Missouri Regiment, Crossland's Kentucky Brigade, Roddey's Alabama Brigade, Frank Armstrong's Mississippi Brigade, General Daniel W. Adams' state reserves, and the citizens of Selma who were "volunteered" to man the works. Selma was incorporated in 1820. Anonymous. On March 30, 1865, Union General James H. Wilson detached Gen. John T. Croxton's brigade to destroy all Confederate property at Tuscaloosa. Earthen forts were built to cover the grounds with artillery fire. The Black Belt, Dallas County, and Selma Alabama. It provided for federal oversight and enforcement of voting rights for all citizens in state or jurisdictions where patterns of underrepresentation showed discrimination against certain populations such as ethnic minorities. The Southern artillery had only solid shot on hand, while a short distance away was an arsenal which produced tons of canister, a highly effective anti-personnel ammunition. Social studies educator, Hofstra University, my opinions, of course, are my own, Sign up for membership to become a founding member and help shape HuffPost's next chapter. The fighting there was heavy, but by 7 p.m. the superior numbers of Union troops had managed to flank the Southern positions. Mar 1, 2020, 8:12 pm The average household size was 2.44 and the average family size was 3.10. 0 0. It was a cold day for Selma, Alabama, close to freezing, and as the sun disappeared … Well, Selma was in the car with Louie and they drove off a cliff and died, that's what happened to Selma. They escaped in the darkness by swimming across the Alabama River near the mouth of Valley Creek (where the present day Battle of Selma Reenactment is held.). Middle schools include R.B. As White liberals drifted away from the movement, Black communities were increasingly radicalized and less than a week after Lyndon Johnson signed the Voting Rights Act in August 1965 rioting broke out in the Watts neighborhood of Los Angeles. People turned their backs on Michael Bloomberg during his Selma speech The billionaire was speaking in front of a historically Black church in Alabama. Selma was protected by fortifications that circled much of the city; it was protected on the north and south by the Alabama River. The late US Rep. John Robert Lewis made his final journey on Sunday across the famous bridge in Selma, Alabama, where the towering civil rights … The Jim Crow laws and customs were enforced with violence. The median income for a household in the city was $21,261, and the median income for a family was $28,345. The SCLC leaders left having organized the citizens of Selma and further efforts to petition the governor died down. This strategic concentration of manufacturing capabilities eventually made Selma a target of Union raids into Alabama late in the Civil War.[6]. On March 7, 1965—the day now known as Bloody Sunday—a group of civil rights activists were brutally attacked by members of law enforcement during a peaceful march across Edmund Pettus Bridge. Location of Selma in Dallas County, Alabama. Actually Johnson was renown as a potty mouth who openly referred to Blacks as "niggers." Violent crimes are more than double the national rate and crimes against property are 40% higher. Their cause must be our cause too. The city council members are: Corey D. Bowie, City Council President; Carl Bowline, Ward 1; Susan M. Keith, Ward 2; Miah Tolbert-Jackson, Ward 3; Angela Benjamin, Ward 4; Samuel L. Randolph, Ward 5; Johnnie Leashore, Ward 6; Jannie Thomas, Ward 7; Michael Johnson, Ward 8. On March 7, 1965, approximately 600 civil rights marchers departed Selma on U.S. Highway 80, heading east to the capital. The Mayor of Selma, George Patrick Evans, is African American, as is the City Council president, seven of the ten members of the City Council, the Chief of Police, and all five members of the school board. Activists planned a larger, more public march from Selma to the state capital of Montgomery to publicize their cause. An Auburn man caught on camera while storming the U.S. Capitol Jan. 6 is now facing charges from the federal government, including civil disorder, entering a … As the Selma fortifications were built to be defended by 20,000 men, Forrest's soldiers had to stand 10 to 12 feet (3.7 m) apart to try to cover the works. The new leadership in Selma did little and even stole money from the campaign. Tap here to turn on desktop notifications to get the news sent straight to you. The First March From Selma March 7, 1965 When about 600 people started a planned march from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama, on Sunday March 7, 1965, it was called a demonstration. John Lewis saw the line of Alabama state troopers a few hundred yards away as he led hundreds of marchers to the apex of the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma on March 7… Before the march, civil rights groups had been … Frank Minis Johnson, Jr., the federal district court judge for the area who reviewed the injunction, decided in favor of the demonstrators, saying: The law is clear that the right to petition one's government for the redress of grievances may be exercised in large groups ... and these rights may be exercised by marching, even along public highways. In Selma, the county registration board opened doors for registration only two days a month, arrived late and took long lunches. These stories are left out of the movie because King was not in Selma when they happened. When the war ended three weeks later, they were en route to Columbus and Macon, Georgia. In 2000 sections of Highway 80 leading into Selma were renamed in honor of leaders in the Selma Voting Rights Movement: F.D. Even boosters like state house speaker Mike Hubbard concede Alabama ranks in the bottom half of the states in student performance by every measure including 44th in overall K-12 student achievement. Share this article on Twitter. As in other southern states, white Democrats regained political power in the mid-1870s after suppressing black voting through violence and fraud; Reconstruction officially ended in 1877 when federal troops were withdrawn. [23], As part of its Civil War history, a monument to native Nathan Bedford Forrest, a Confederate General, was installed in Old Live Oak Cemetery. Now, you can experience the legacy of those who changed history through the U.S. Civil Rights Movement. Located on the banks of the Alabama River, the city has a population of 20,756 as of the 2010 census. In 1935, Joe Spinner Johnson, a leader of the Alabama Sharecroppers Union, which worked from 1931 to 1936 to get better pay and treatment from white planters, was beaten by a mob near his field, taken to the jail in Selma and beaten more; his body was left in a field near Greensboro.[8]. Blacks were prevented from registering to vote by means of a literacy test, administered in a subjective way, as well as through economic retaliation organized by the White Citizens' Council in response to civil rights activism, Ku Klux Klan violence and police repression. In Selma, with a population of a little over 20,000 people, 80% of whom are African American, the official unemployment rate hovers at about 12%, more than twice the national average. Some historians and political participants argue that the movie unfairly portrays President Johnson as a too pragmatic of a politician who used racial slurs and was willing to postpone legislation ensuring voting rights for African Americans. However, the bill proposed by President Johnson continued moving through congress. Mixed units of Confederate troops had also occupied the Selma railroad depot and the adjoining banks of the railroad bed to make a stand next to the Plantersville Road (present day Broad Street). Selma has four private K–12 schools: John T. Morgan Academy, founded in 1965, Meadowview Christian School, Ellwood Christian Academy, and Cathedral Christian Academy. High crime rates and segregated, poor quality education, are major problems in Selma today. The racial makeup of the city was 80.3% Black or African American, 18.0% White, 0.20% Native American, 0.60% Asian, 0.1% other races, 0.80% from two or more races and Hispanics or Latinos, of any race, comprised 0.60% of the population. Anderson of Tabernacle Baptist Church, J.L. Later, the Black community gathered in Brown Chapel AME Church. Highway 80, which runs east and west through Selma and the state has reflected this in naming patterns. 22 terms. The federal government provided protection in the form of National Guard and military troops. [3] About 80% of the population is African-American. if he has a whole bunch of secret service. Marching in the front row with King were Rev. But history is much more complicated. But, Long decided to begin his assault against the Selma fortifications to neutralize the enemy attack in his rear. ©2021 Verizon Media. They succeeded in overmounting the defenses and soon U.S. flags could be seen waving over the works from Range Line Road to Summerfield Road. The official website of Selma Alabama describes it as the "Queen City of the Black Belt" and the "Butterfly Capital of Alabama." The police intended to save Webb from a local lynch mob, but the mob abducted Webb from the jail and killed him. Taylor did so after giving Forrest command of the defense. It was the 55th anniversary of “Bloody Sunday,” when state troopers viciously attacked black civil rights activists who marched over the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma. Chestnut (Selma's first black attorney), SCLC Citizenship School teacher Marie Foster, public school teacher Marie Moore, Frederick D. Reese and others active with the Dallas County Voters League (DCVL). Seventeen marchers were hospitalized and 50 more were treated for lesser injuries. 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