Home » Society and Culture

Racial Flashpoints In US History

Jan 25, 2008
Three historic civil rights marches were initiated by Amelia Boynton Robinson and her husband. These marches, organized to demonstrate for voting rights, took place along a route known today as the Selma to Montgomery National Historic Trail. The first two marches were halted by opposing segregationist forces; only the last group of demonstrators successfully reached Montgomery.

The first march took place on March 7, 1965. John Lewis and the Reverend Hosea Williams led between 525 and 600 persons, including Rosa Parks, on an effort to protest the discrimination and intimidation tactics that had prevented them from registering to vote. Although Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. asked Governor George Wallace for support, the governor vowed to stop the march by any means necessary. Wallace was successful; the marchers were attacked by state and county police officers bearing billy clubs and spraying tear gas as the news media watched. During this event, later nicknamed "Bloody Sunday," Robinson was beaten almost to death. Seventeen other persons were also hospitalized.

Undeterred, Dr. King organized 2500 marchers to set out again from Selma on March 9, 1965. He requested a court order protecting the demonstrators from a repeated assault by police officers, but was instead issued a restraining order prohibiting him from marching to Montgomery on that day. To abide by the order, the group marched only to the endpoint of the first effort, offered a prayer, and returned to the starting point. One person, a white minister from Boston, Reverend James Reeb, was severely beaten outside a diner frequented by whites, and was taken by his friends to the local hospital - where he was turned away because the hospital was full. He died two days later at University Hospital in Birmingham. A week after Reverend Reeb's death a judge issued a decision ordering the state to refrain from blocking the marchers on their route.

In their final march, on March 19, 1965, the demonstrators left Selma and walked the 54 miles to Montgomery in rainy, dreary weather. They sojourned at the Catholic Church City of St. Jude, and several famous performers, including Sammy Davis, Jr., and Peter, Paul, and Mary, celebrated the event with them. The next day, when the crowd had swelled to number 25,000, Dr. King delivered his speech How Long, Not Long, next to the Capitol Building. Less than five months later, President Lyndon B. Johnson would sign the 1965 Voting Rights act. The original organizer of the marches, Amelia Boynton Robinson, attended the ceremony.
About the Author
Ian Spellfield explores the most frequently used African American names through the lens of history in his blog, Black Ghetto Baby Names.
Rating:
Please Rate:
(Average: Not rated)
Views: 272
Print Email Report Share
Article Categories
    • Artists
    • Gambling
    • Humanities
    • Humor
    • Movies
    • Music
    • Photography
    • Tattoos
    • Television
    • Classic Cars
    • Motorcycles
    • Recreational Vehicles
    • SUVs
    • Trucks
    • Vans
    • Branding
    • Business Opportunities
    • Careers and Jobs
    • Corporate
    • Customer Service
    • Direct Mail
    • Entrepreneurship
    • Ethics
    • Financing
    • Franchising
    • Home-Based Business
    • Human Resources
    • Import and Export
    • Leadership
    • Management
    • Market Research
    • Marketing and Advertising
    • Negotiation
    • Network Marketing
    • Networking
    • Organizational
    • Presentation
    • Project Management
    • Public Relations
    • Small Business
    • Strategic Planning
    • Team Building
    • Telemarketing
    • Training
    • Data Recovery
    • Databases
    • Games
    • Hardware
    • Networks
    • Operating Systems
    • Programming
    • Security
    • Software
    • Spyware and Viruses
    • Ask an Expert
    • College and University
    • Home Schooling
    • K-12
    • Languages
    • Online Education
    • Psychology
    • Accounting
    • Credit
    • Currency Trading
    • Debt Consolidation
    • Insurance
    • Investing
    • Leasing
    • Loans
    • Mortgage
    • Mutual Funds
    • Personal Finance
    • Stock Market
    • Structured Settlements
    • Taxes
    • Wealth Building
    • Coffee
    • Cooking
    • Gourmet
    • Recipes
    • Wine and Spirits
    • Acne
    • Aerobics
    • Alternative Medicine
    • Beauty
    • Cancer
    • Cosmetics
    • Depression
    • Diabetes
    • Diseases and Conditions
    • Fitness Equipment
    • Fitness
    • Hair Loss
    • Heart Disease
    • Medicine
    • Men's Health
    • Muscle Building
    • Nutrition
    • Skin Care
    • Supplements and Vitamins
    • Weight Loss
    • Women's Health
    • Yoga
    • Arts and Crafts
    • Babies
    • Collecting
    • Elderly Care
    • Genealogy
    • Hobbies
    • Parenting
    • Pets
    • Pregnancy
    • Woodworking
    • Feng Shui
    • Gardening
    • Home Appliances
    • Home Security
    • Interior Design
    • Landscaping
    • Affiliate Programs
    • Article Marketing
    • Auctions
    • Audio
    • Banner Advertising
    • Blogging
    • Broadband
    • Domain Names
    • E-Books
    • E-Commerce
    • Email Marketing
    • Ezines and Newsletters
    • Forums
    • Internet Marketing
    • Link Popularity
    • Pay-Per-Click
    • Podcasting
    • RSS
    • Search Engine Marketing
    • Search Engine Optimization
    • Security
    • Social Media
    • Spam
    • Video
    • Viral Marketing
    • Web Design
    • Web Development
    • Web Hosting
    • Copyright
    • Cyber Law
    • Intellectual Property
    • National, State, Local
    • Patents
    • Regulatory Compliance
    • Trademarks
    • Buying
    • Selling
    • Baseball
    • Basketball
    • Boating
    • Cycling
    • Extreme Sports
    • Fishing
    • Football
    • Golf
    • Hockey
    • Hunting
    • Martial Arts
    • Running
    • Scuba Diving
    • Soccer
    • Swimming
    • Tennis
    • Dating
    • Divorce
    • Marriage
    • Weddings
    • Astrology
    • Buddhism
    • Christianity
    • Faith
    • Hinduism
    • Islam
    • Judaism
    • Meditation
    • Metaphysical
    • New Age
    • Cable and Satellite TV
    • Cell Phones
    • Communication
    • Gadgets and Gizmos
    • GPS
    • Satellite Radio
    • Video Conferencing
    • VoIP
    • Addictions
    • Coaching
    • Goal Setting
    • Motivational
    • Stress Management
    • Time Management
    • Clothing
    • Electronics
    • Fashion
    • Gifts
    • Jewelry
    • Air Travel
    • Camping
    • Cruises
    • Destinations
    • Outdoors
    • Article Writing
    • Book Reviews
    • Copywriting
    • Fiction
    • Non-Fiction
    • Poetry
    • Quotes
    • Screenplay
    • Tools and Resources