Bus trip to  commemorate historic Selma march

After a pre-March rally at 2 p.m. on the steps of the steps of Brown Chapel AME Church, marchers will proceed to the Edmund Pettus Bridge at 2:30 p.m.

Adults and children can join the 54th commemoration of the historic march from Selma to Montgomery in Alabama on March 7.

Buses will depart West End Mall parking lot for the day trip, sponsored by Atlanta-based nonprofit Voter Empowerment Collaborative (VEC).

Participants will attend worship service at Shiloh Baptist Church in Selma, where AME of Georgia Bishop the Rev. Dr. Reginald T. Jackson will preach. 

A pre-March rally takes place at 2 p.m. on the steps of the steps of Brown Chapel AME Church. The commemorative march to the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma kicks off at 2:30 p.m.

The 50-mile Selma to Montgomery March, now referred to as "Bloody Sunday," took place March 7, 1965, to demand voting rights for African Americans. Seventeen unarmed marchers, including John Lewis, now a congressman, were injured by state troopers who attacked them with clubs, tear gas and horses. 

The Rev. Albert E. Love, VEC’s coordinator, says it's important to commemorate the Selma to Montgomery March to remind us of how far we have come and how far we yet have to go, and to inform, inspire and involve today’s youth in Civil Rights struggles.

“All who love democracy, justice, freedom and righteousness should join us,” Love said.   

The bus trip is $60 per person and includes a box lunch. The deadline to book is March. 1.

Supporters who are unable to attend are encourage to consider sponsoring a youth, or a senior to attend.

The trip departs at 6 a.m. and returns at 9 p.m.

For more information, visit www.vecvoter.org, http://www.selmajubilee.com,  or contact the Rev. Albert E. Love at 404-788-4542 or Joe Carn at 404-472-4599.

March for Voting Rights

A the height of the Civil Rights Movement in March 1965, demonstrators faced violence as they attempted to march from Selma, Ala., to Montgomery, Ala., to demand the right to vote for black people.

The march was only successful after three attempts.

Timeline:

February 1965 - Marches and demonstrations about voter registration prompt Alabama Gov. George C. Wallace to ban nighttime demonstrations in Selma and Marion, Alabama.

Feb. 18, 1965 - During a march in Marion, state troopers attack the demonstrators. State trooper James Bonard Fowler shoots and kills Jimmie Lee Jackson. Fowler was charged with murder in 2007 and pleaded guilty to manslaughter in 2010.

March 7, 1965 - About 600 people begin a 50-mile march from Selma to Montgomery, led by civil rights workers John Lewis and Hosea Williams. Marchers demand an end to discrimination in voter registration. At the Edmund Pettus Bridge, state and local lawmen attacked  the marchers with billy clubs and tear gas, driving them back to Selma. The  attack became known as Bloody Sunday. 

March 9, 1965 - Martin Luther King Jr. leads another march to the Edmund Pettus Bridge. The march is largely symbolic, and the crowd turns back at a barricade of state troopers. Demonstrations are held in cities across the United States to show solidarity with the Selma marchers.

March 9, 1965 - President Lyndon Johnson speaks out against the violence in Selma and urges both sides to respect the law.

March 9, 1965 - Unitarian Universalist minister James Reeb, in Selma to join marchers, is attacked by a group of white men and beaten. He dies of his injuries two days later.

March 10, 1965 - The U.S. Justice Department files suit in Montgomery, asking for an order to prevent the state from punishing any person involved in a demonstration for civil rights.

March 17, 1965 - Federal District Court Judge Frank M. Johnson Jr. rules in favor of the marchers. "The law is clear that the right to petition one's government for the redress of grievances may be exercised in large groups."

March 18, 1965 - Gov. Wallace goes before the state legislature to condemn Judge Johnson's ruling. He states that Alabama cannot provide the security measures needed, blames the federal government, and says he will call on the federal government for help.

March 19, 1965 - Wallace sends a telegram to President Johnson asking for help, saying that the state does not have enough troops and cannot bear the financial burden of calling up the Alabama National Guard.

March 20, 1965 - President Johnson issues an executive order federalizing the Alabama National Guard and authorizes whatever federal forces the Defense Secretary deems necessary.

March 21, 1965 - About 3,200 people march out of Selma for Montgomery under the protection of federal troops. They walk about 12 miles a day and sleep in fields at night.

March 25, 1965 - The marchers reach the state capitol in Montgomery. The number of marchers grows to about 25,000.

Aug. 6, 1965 - President Johnson signs the Voting Rights Act of 1965.

June 4, 2015 - After a state resolution to rename the Edmund Pettus Bridge is not acted upon, Congressman Lewis and Rep. Terri Sewell (D-Ala.) publish an article in the Selma Times-Journal in favor of keeping the name. "Keeping the name of the bridge is not an endorsement of the man who bears its name but rather an acknowledgement that the name of the bridge today is synonymous with the Voting Rights Movement which changed the face of this nation and the world."