Reposted from Yahoo News Digest’s March 7th post—
“The United States’ first black First Family will cross the Edmund Pettus Bridge and the U.S. president will make an address Saturday. There could hardly be a starker image of how far the nation has come since that day 50 years ago in Selma, but the long march is not over. Just this week, a probe by Obama’s Justice Department found last year’s protests in Ferguson, Missouri were in part provoked by the racist attitudes and tactics of city police. In Selma itself, black children are more likely to grow up in poverty, less likely to graduate, less likely to attend college, and less likely to become homeowners. The town remains sharply segregated — partly because of white flight and partly by choice.
Selma is … about honoring the legends who helped change this country through your actions today, in the here and now.
U.S. President Barack Obama
Before the 1965 Voting Rights Act, it was easier for states like Alabama to restrict voter registration through violent intimidation and bureaucratic racism. In Selma, for example, of 15,000 African Americans in the town, only 300 were registered to vote. There were constitution tests and poll taxes. Reverend Frederick Reese is 85 now but remembers the march as a determined but non-violent demonstration.
You had an opportunity to challenge the system. It called for a lot of wit, determination and persistence. Selma played a very important role in helping to bring our nation to the realization that all men should be treated equally.
Reverend Frederick Reese”
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