MLK Day & Selma, Alabama

January 15, 2023

The confrontation of good and evil compressed in the tiny community of Selma generated the massive power to turn the whole nation to a new course.

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. during his speech “Our God is Marching On!” in Montgomery, Alabama days after the march from Selma to Montgomery in 1965.

At least 7 people have passed away after a tornado caused “significant damage” in Alabama.

As we commemorate MLK Day – we find ourselves reflecting on this week’s news, that included focus on Selma, Alabama, hard hit by tornadoes that crisscrossed the south.

Connecting the Dots: Selma is a meaningful city in the civil rights movement. It is the site of several important marches, including three famous marches that aimed to travel from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama in 1965.

The First March – Bloody Sunday: On March 7th, 1965, clubs, whips, and tear gas were used by police against a group of civil rights activists in Selma, Alabama at the beginning of their march to Montgomery. Dozens of activists were hospitalized and severely injured, ending the march early.

The Second March – Turnaround Tuesday: The images of Bloody Sunday inspired a second march just 2 days later. Led by Dr. King, this march, while also shortened, inspired President Johnson to meet with voting rights leaders and to pass the Voting Rights Act.

The Third March: Led by Dr. King, it made the full 54-mile distance from Selma to Montgomery over a five day period protected by Alabama National Guardsmen and FBI agents.

Selma was then known to Dr. King as the city that “produced the voting rights legislation of 1965.”

Bloody Sunday (SmartHER News)

At least 7 dead after destructive tornadoes hit Alabama (NBC News)

Selma Marches (National Archives)

Selma to Montgomery March (The King Institute)

Quote: “Our God is Marching On!”

by Jenna Lee,