Tuesday, March 7, 2017

MARCH 7, 1965

LEST WE FORGET.  Today is the anniversary of "Bloody Sunday". On March 7, 1965, approximately 600 people crossed the Edmund Pettus Bridge--named for a white supremacist--in an attempt to begin the Selma to Montgomery March for voting rights.  Alabama state troopers violently attacked the peaceful demonstrators.  This event caused President Lyndon Johnson and the U. S. Congress to enact the Voting Rights Act of 1965. 

I am pleased to republish my BLOG article from 2012 titled I STAND WITH JOHN LEWIS and also a letter from John Lewis.

                                           I STAND WITH JOHN LEWIS

Anyone who knows me knows that I always say that John Lewis is my all-time hero.  Along with John, I am deeply concerned about the efforts to deny voting rights to minorities, seniors, young people, and the poor.

In 1961, John was one of the original Freedom Riders. From 1963-1966, he was the Chairman of the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee (SNCC), of which I was a member. On August 28, 1963, at age 23, he was an organizer and speaker at the March On Washington where Dr. King gave his "I Have A Dream"  speech. He was beaten, nearly to death, on March 7, 1965, on the Edmund Pettus Bridge during the March From Selma to Montgomery. That day will always be remembered as "Bloody Sunday". The scars from his skull fracture are still visible today.

John Lewis was one of the so-called "Six Leaders of The Civil Rights Movement". The others were:

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Whitney Young
A. Phillip Randolph
James Foreman
Roy Wilkins

Lewis was the youngest and the only one still living.

John Lewis survived many brutalities and in 1986 he ran for Congress and is serving his thirteenth term as the U.S. Congressman from Georgia's Fifth Congressional District. He has served his constituents diligently and continues the fight for the rights for minorities, women, seniors, veterans, labor, and sexual orientation.

Below is a letter from John Lewis I wish to share.

"Dear Sue,

This is deeply personal for me.

As you know, I’ve been marching and preaching and fighting for voting rights for over 50 years. Today, we’re seeing a deliberate and systematic effort on the part of Republican officials to prevent minorities, seniors, the young, and the poor from casting their ballots.

Republican Governors like Florida’s Rick Scott and Wisconsin’s Scott Walker are trying to steal this election even before it takes place.

Voting is precious, almost sacred. It’s the most powerful instrument that we have in a democratic society. We need to move quickly to launch voter education programs and counter the powerful interests that are endangering our basic rights.

Too many courageous people have fought to secure the vote. Don’t let it be taken away:

Thank you,

John Lewis

Congressman John Lewis
Georgia's 5th District

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