The Selma-Montgomery March Essay

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The Selma-Montgomery March

The Civil Rights Movement began in order to bring equal rights and equal voting rights to black citizens of the US. This was accomplished through persistent demonstrations, one of these being the Selma-Montgomery March. This march, lead by Martin Luther King Jr., targeted at the disenfranchisement of negroes in Alabama due to the literacy tests. Tension from the governor and state troopers of Alabama led the state, and the whole nation, to be caught in the violent chaos caused by protests and riots by marchers. However, this did not prevent the March from Selma to Montgomery to accomplish its goals abolishing the literacy tests and allowing black citizens the right to vote.

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The brutality from this event can be summarized by one marcher who was reported saying, “My God, we’re being killed.” This malevolent act sent the entire nation in an uproar, sparking riots in major US cites and even in Toronto. The protests and riots gained so much popular support as to gain the attention of President Lyndon B. Johnson, who declared that he “deplored the brutality.” King was also determined to march from Selma to Montgomery in order to present the governor with the proposal for voting rights and to continue fighting the oppression (“Central Point” 24).

March 16 saw a demonstration in Montgomery, Alabama in which 580 demonstrators planned to march “from the Jackson Street Baptist Church to the Montgomery County Courthouse” (Reed 26). These protestors included a large number of northern college students. They met a police line a few blocks from the Courthouse and were forbidden from proceeding because “they did not have a parade permit” (Reed 26). Across the street came 40 or so students who planned on joining the group en route to the Courthouse. Eventually a few of the demonstrators dared to cross the street, led by James Forman who had organized the march. When it seemed the whole group would cross, police took action, with mounted officers and volunteers arriving at 1:12 pm. Riding into the small group of protestors, they forced most to withdraw, but a few stood fast around a utility pole where horsemen began to beat them. “A posseman
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