March from Selma: Fifty Years Later

In March 1965, Martin Luther King marched with thousands of other demonstrators from Selma, Alabama to the capital in Montgomery, protesting the ongoing organized resistance to blacks’ attempts to register to vote. In the face of hostility and acts of violence, King and his supporters, including hundreds of clergy and lay church leaders, marched for five days. By the end of the march, demonstrators numbered close to 25,000.

The brutality endured by King and his colleagues during the March from Selma—particularly Bloody Sunday—so outraged the public that it kindled federal attention and, according to many scholars, pushed the Civil Rights movement into the national conversation and contributed to the Voting Rights Act of 1965.

Where are we fifty years out from the March from Selma? What advances have been made in the fulfillment of King’s American Dream? Where are we still resisting the advance of racial parity and freedom of opportunity for all? And in what ways do people of faith today—clergy and lay—join in the ongoing march?

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