Analysis of bloody Sunday in the civil rights movement Anthony Lee Civil Rights Movement POLI 315-01 2-23-12 Department of political science and public administration Virginia State University Research Orientation “We Shall Overcome — Selma-to-Montgomery March. ” U. S. National Park Service – Experience Your America.

The Selma-to-Montgomery March for voting rights ended three weeks–and three events–that represented the political and emotional peak of the modern civil rights movement. On “Bloody Sunday,” March 7, 1965, some 600 civil rights marchers headed east out of Selma on U. S. Route 80. They got only as far as the Edmund Pettus Bridge six blocks away, where state and local lawmen attacked them with Billy clubs and tear gas and drove them back into Selma. Two days later on March 9, Martin Luther King, Jr. , led a “symbolic” march to the bridge.

Then civil rights leaders sought court protection for a third, full-scale march from Selma to the state capitol in Montgomery. Federal District Court Judge Frank M. Johnson, Jr. , weighed the right of mobility against the right to march and ruled in favor of the demonstrators. “The law is clear that the right to petition one’s government for the redress of grievances may be exercised in large groups… ,” said Judge Johnson, “and these rights may be exercised by marching, even along public highways. ” On Sunday, March 21, about 3,200 marchers set out for Montgomery, walking 12 miles a day and sleeping in fields.

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By the time they reached the capitol on Thursday, March 25, they were 25,000-strong. Less than five months after the last of the three marches, President Lyndon Johnson signed the Voting Rights Act of 1965–the best possible redress of grievances. History – Bloody Sunday – Background. ” Welcome to the Museum of Free Derry. HISTORY – BLOODY SUNDAY – BACKGROUND, I can use this because these are some key points to lead to the agreements after the bloody Sunday. This led to the formation of the Northern Ireland Civil Rights Association on the 1st February 1967. The NICRA took to the streets to emand their aims, which were: 1. One man one vote in local elections 2. The removal of gerrymandered boundaries 3. Anti-discrimination laws 4. Fair allocation of public housing 5. Repeal of the special powers act 6. Disbanding the RUC On 5th Oct 1968, in Derry City, the worlds media witnessed civil rights demonstrators being attacked by the police. This turned the Civil Rights Movement into a mass movement. Civil Rights demonstrator being arrested, October 5th 1968 In November 1968, in response to the Civil Rights campaign, Terrence O’Neill announced the following Reform Package. . Local councils to allocate housing on a points system 2. An Ombudaman to be appointed to appoint grievances 3. Derry Corporation to be replaced 4. Local gov to be reformed 5. Special powers act to be reformed Kindig, Jessie. “Bloody Sunday, Selma, Alabama, (March 7, 1965) | The Black Past: Remembered and Reclaimed. ” Between 1961 and 1964, the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) had led a voting registration campaign in Selma, the seat of Dallas County, Alabama, a small town with a record of consistent resistance to black voting.

When SNCC’s efforts were frustrated by stiff resistance from the county law enforcement officials, Martin Luther King, Jr. and the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) were persuaded by local activists to make Selma’s intransigence to black voting a national concern. SCLC also hoped to use the momentum of the 1964 Civil Rights Act to win federal protection for a voting rights statute. During January and February, 1965, King and SCLC led a series of demonstrations to the Dallas County courthouse. On February 17, protester Jimmy Lee Jackson was fatally shot by an Alabama state trooper.

In response, a protest march from Selma to Montgomery was scheduled for March 7. Six hundred marchers assembled in Selma on Sunday, March 7, and, led by SNCC and SCLC, crossed the Edmund Pettus Bridge over the Alabama River en route to Montgomery. Just short of the bridge, they found their way blocked by Alabama State troopers and local police who ordered them to turn around. When the protesters refused, the officers shot teargas and waded into the crowd, beating the nonviolent protesters with Billy clubs and ultimately hospitalizing over fifty people. Bloody Sunday1965 US News – Life – Race & Ethnicity – Msnbc. com Certain provisions of the Voting Rights Act, such as the use of federal examiners and a requirement for Justice Department approval of election law changes, will be up for renewal by Congress in 2007. Currently, 74 percent of voting-age blacks in Alabama are listed as active voters. That compares with 77 percent of voting-age whites, based on figures compiled by the secretary of state and the Census Bureau’s estimates of voting-age residents. In March 1965, only 19. percent of eligible blacks were registered in Alabama, compared with 69. 2 percent of whites. Significance of the problem The reason why I chose this topic because a lot of African Americans now in our society do not know the struggles that were fought for just so we can vote in America today. I feel that after looking much more deeper into my topic it give me a greater appreciation and understanding about our freedom to vote as an African American. Works cited “We Shall Overcome — Selma-to-Montgomery March. ” U. S. National Park Service – Experience Your America.

Web. 07 Feb. 2012. . History – Bloody Sunday – Background. ” Welcome to the Museum of Free Derry. HISTORY – BLOODY SUNDAY – BACKGROUND, 2005. Web. 07 Feb. 2012. . Kindig, Jessie. “Bloody Sunday, Selma, Alabama, (March 7, 1965) | The Black Past: Remembered and Reclaimed. ” | The Black Past: Remembered and Reclaimed. 1991. Web. 07 Feb. 2012. . “Bloody Sunday1965 US News – Life – Race & Ethnicity – Msnbc. com. ” Msnbc. com – Breaking News, Science and Tech News, World News, US News, Local News- Msnbc. com. Associated Press, 6 Mar. 2005. Web. 07 Feb. 2012. .


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