Beginning Thursday morning, people from all parts of the country came to celebrate the 52nd anniversary of “Bloody Sunday”.
“Bloody Sunday” was aptly named in honor of the individuals that took part in crossing the Pettus Bridge in the march to Montgomery for the right to vote on March 7, 1965.
However, this year proved to be different. Instead of being able to celebrate in the city of Selma, the event was held across the bridge on private property. It appears that the city, in an attempt to persuade the organization to abandon any attempts of having the celebration, implemented prices for security and also raised prices for vendors. But that did not stop the show. Dignitaries, politicians, ministers and every day citizens poured into the city to enjoy the entertainment, speeches, dance performances, choirs and good food of the many vendors that participated.
Sunday morning at Brown Chapel, many dignitaries were on hand to address the crowd on many topics including voter registration and voter fraud. “There is no such voter fraud in North Carolina,” said Pastor Barber. “That is something that’s not true. “ As he went on to elaborate on the subject, he was asked to keep in line with the program. To which he responded, “I’m here to tell the truth. If I can’t tell the truth here, [in church] I’ll leave.” As he left, approximately 30-40 parishioners left with him.
After the service, everyone gathered to begin the march from Brown’s Chapel to the Pettus Bridge where approximately three thousand men, women and children marched across with them.
Every year this celebration is a reminder to all of the many people who gave their lives for African Americans to have the right to vote. For this reason, we all should take pride in voting and choosing our political leaders with sharp scrutiny and care. Let no one say, the cost of freedom is free.