Violent crimes are more than double the national rate and crimes against property are 40% higher. Get directions, maps, and traffic for Selma, AL. There was a downturn after restructuring in industry that had done well into the 1960s. Area attractions include the Old Town Historic District, Old Live Oak Cemetery, Paul M. Grist State Park, and Old Cahawba Archaeological Park. In 1967, Martin Luther King told the SCLC convention, "With all the struggle and all the achievements, we must face the fact, however, that the Negro still lives in the basement of the Great Society. A look at Selma, Alabama today, what has changed and what has not, points to the long road the United States and the American people still must travel to achieve the dream Martin Luther King spelled out in his 1963 speech at the Lincoln Memorial during the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom. In 1920 the east-west Highway 80 was designated as part of the Jefferson Davis Memorial Highway. A group of at least nine people took part in the protest as Bloomberg spoke during a 55th commemoration of "Bloody Sunday" -- a historic civil rights march in … They left Selma heading to Montgomery. The new leadership in Selma did little and even stole money from the campaign. Because of the brutal attacks, this became known as "Bloody Sunday." This march represented one of the political and emotional peaks of the modern civil-rights movement. At 5 pm, however, Gen. Eli Long's ammunition train in the rear was attacked by advance elements of Forrest's scattered forces approaching Selma. Selma became the seat of Dallas County in 1866 and the county courthouse was built there. Highway 80, which runs east and west through Selma and the state has reflected this in naming patterns. 32.6% of all households were made up of individuals, and 14.6% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. Selma is located at 32°24′26″N 87°1′16″W / 32.40722°N 87.02111°W / 32.40722; -87.02111,[18] west of Montgomery. The federal government provided protection in the form of National Guard and military troops. Southside ranks in the bottom 25% percent of state high schools as measured by student performance; Selma in the bottom 12%. A single gun from Upton's artillery would signal the attack to be undertaken by the entire Federal Corps. [clarification needed] [7]. High crime rates and segregated, poor quality education, are major problems in Selma today. Much has changed since 1965. Over the next weeks, more than 3,000 African-Americans were arrested, and they suffered police violence and economic retaliation. The police intended to save Webb from a local lynch mob, but the mob abducted Webb from the jail and killed him. What was the first date that protesters were assembled in Selma, AL on the Court House steps having their picture taken by National TV (NBC). Although director DuVernay stated that she intended the movie as art and not as history, I found no blatant inaccuracies, just some omissions. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 72.0 males. The last one, on 25 March 1965, brought together about 25,000 people who marched from Selma to Montgomery, up to the state capitol. Civil rights tourism has become a new source of business.[22]:146. Early the next morning, Forrest reached Selma; he advised Gen. Richard Taylor, departmental commander, to leave the city. In less than 30 minutes, Long's men had captured the works protecting the Summerfield Road. Meanwhile, General Upton, observing Long's success, ordered his division forward. In 2000 sections of Highway 80 leading into Selma were renamed in honor of leaders in the Selma Voting Rights Movement: F.D. The Confederates abandoned the depot as well as the inner line of works. The outnumbered and outgunned Confederates fought for more than an hour as reinforcements of Union cavalry and artillery were deployed. White families in Selma, and some of the more affluent Black families, send their children to the better performing Meadowview Christian School where the student population is over 90% White. Finally, a Union cavalry charge broke the Confederate militia, causing Forrest to be flanked on his right. The city council members are: Corey D. Bowie, City Council President; Carl Bowline, Ward 1; Susan M. Keith, Ward 2; Miah Tolbert-Jackson, Ward 3; Angela Benjamin, Ward 4; Samuel L. Randolph, Ward 5; Johnnie Leashore, Ward 6; Jannie Thomas, Ward 7; Michael Johnson, Ward 8. As the Selma fortifications were built to be defended by 20,000 men, Forrest's soldiers had to stand 10 to 12 feet (3.7 m) apart to try to cover the works. Other historical figures in this drama are assigned supporting roles (John Lewis), bit parts (the people of Selma), or play cartoon-like villains (George Wallace and J. Edgar Hoover) and King's foils (Lyndon Johnson). However, my greatest concern with the story told in the movie Selma is that it presents the final march from Selma to the Alabama state capital in Montgomery and the Voting Rights Act as a triumphant conclusion to the African American Civil Rights Movement. YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE... Ch 26 Lesson 1 and 3. After the Supreme Court case Smith v. Allwright (1944) ended the use of white primaries by the Democratic Party, the Alabama state legislature passed a law giving voting registrars more authority to challenge prospective voters under the literacy test. Well, Selma was in the car with Louie and they drove off a cliff and died, that's what happened to Selma. The wall was high and deep, surrounded by a ditch and picket fence. Altogether this force numbered less than 4,000. To the west, many Confederate soldiers fought the pursuing Union Army all the way down to the eastern side of Valley Creek. It was established as a Carnegie library in 1904, receiving matching funds for construction. The Union troops looted the city that night and burned many businesses and private residences. Dallas County, Alabama, where Selma is located, is the poorest county in a very poor state. At prominent positions, earthen forts were built with artillery in position to cover the ground over which an assault would have to be made. The median age was 36 years. There were 8,196 households, out of which 30.3% had children under the age of 18 living with them; 34.2% were married couples living together, 27.2% had a female householder with no husband present, and 34.8% were non-families. The average household size was 2.44 and the average family size was 3.10. Tap here to turn on desktop notifications to get the news sent straight to you. Following the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which made discrimination illegal based on race, the Selma to Montgomery march was organized to help register black voters in the South and to protest against racially motivated violence. Selma maintained segregated schools and other facilities, enforcing the state law in new enterprises such as movie theaters. In 1901, the state legislature passed a new constitution with electoral provisions, such as poll taxes and literacy tests, that effectively disenfranchised most blacks and tens of thousands of poor whites, leaving them without representation in government, and deprived them of participation in juries and other forms of citizenship. Charter Communications provides cable television service. On 25 March 1965, Martin Luther King led thousands of nonviolent demonstrators to the steps of the capitol in Montgomery, Alabama, after a 5-day, 54-mile march from Selma, Alabama, where local African Americans, the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC), and the Southern Christian … I agree with an essay SUNY Geneseo professor of history Emilye Crosby wrote for the Zinn Education Project that the biggest problem with the movie is that its intense focus on the role of Martin Luther King and the first three months of 1965 takes attention away from the long struggle by the people of Selma and many others active in the Civil Rights movement to bring the issue of African American voting rights to a head in the United States. The racial makeup of the city was 80.3% Black or African American, 18.0% White, 0.20% Native American, 0.60% Asian, 0.1% other races, 0.80% from two or more races and Hispanics or Latinos, of any race, comprised 0.60% of the population. After they passed over the crest of the Edmund Pettus Bridge and left the boundaries of the city, they were confronted by county sheriff's deputies and state troopers, who attacked them using tear gas, horses and billy clubs, and drove them back across the bridge. They succeeded in overmounting the defenses and soon U.S. flags could be seen waving over the works from Range Line Road to Summerfield Road. Selma to Montgomery is a national historic trail in Alabama which traces the march of non-violent supporters of equal… It was also an important armaments-manufacturing and iron shipbuilding center for the Confederacy during the Civil War, surrounded by miles of earthen fortifications. If you watch the film Selma as a way of commemorating the 50th anniversary of the march for voting rights in Selma, Ala., you may be interested to … Selma was incorporated in 1820. The Southern artillery had only solid shot on hand, while a short distance away was an arsenal which produced tons of canister, a highly effective anti-personnel ammunition. The Selma Voting Rights Struggle: 15 Key Points from Bottom-Up History and Why It Matters Today. It was a cold day for Selma, Alabama, close to freezing, and as the sun disappeared … There were 9,264 housing units at an average density of 668.3 per square mile (258.0/km2). ©2021 Verizon Media. if he has a whole bunch of secret service. [6] Planters and other slaveholders struggled with how to deal with freed slaves after the war. In the city, the population was spread out, with 27.3% under the age of 18, 9.7% from 18 to 24, 24.9% from 25 to 44, 21.8% from 45 to 64, and 16.3% who were 65 years of age or older. Much has changed since 1965. Later Anglo-Americans called it the Moore's Bluff settlement. [23][25][26], The Selma-Dallas County Public Library serves the city and the region with a collection of 76,751 volumes. Push for Voting Rights Sparked Selma Protests. I suspect that fifty years later, with increased school segregation, police attacks on Black men, continued poverty, and the loss of voting rights protection, Dr. King would give a very similar speech. They were anchored on the north and south by the Alabama River. We also know that during the 1964 Democratic Party National Convention in Atlantic City he actively pressured key delegates and his lieutenants to push aside Black demands for greater representation at the convention. Wilson's force arrived in front of the Selma fortifications at 2 pm. 6 years ago. King and other civil-rights leaders filed for court protection for a third, larger-scale march from Selma to Montgomery, the state capital. These stories are left out of the movie because King was not in Selma when they happened. Once the Union Army reached the works, there was vicious hand-to-hand fighting. Find what to do today, this weekend, or in January. In the darkness, the Federals rounded up hundreds of prisoners, but hundreds more escaped down the Burnsville Road, including generals Forrest, Armstrong, and Roddey. [24] It was torn down in 2012, reflecting the continuing controversy about him. L.L. Forrest had hoped to bring his entire force to bear on Wilson. Nearly half of Selma's residents were black, but because of the restrictive electoral laws and practices in place since the turn of the century, only one percent were registered to vote, preventing them from serving on juries or serving in local office. This would be prior to the march on March 7, 1965 March from Selma to Montgomery, AL. [13], In the summer of 1964, a sweeping injunction issued by local judge James Hare barred any gathering of three or more people under sponsorship of SNCC, SCLC or DCVL, or with the involvement of 41 named civil rights leaders. John Lewis saw the line of Alabama state troopers a few hundred yards away as he led hundreds of marchers to the apex of the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma on March 7… As a teacher and teacher educator, I hope other teachers find this useful as they plan Martin Luther King Day lessons. Posted on 03/27/2008 10:36:25 AM PDT by TheDotte. What Happened In Selma Alabama. In 1901, the state legislature passed a new constitution with electoral provisions, such as poll taxes and literacy tests, that effectively disenfranchised most blacks and tens of thousands of poor whites, leaving them without representation in government, and deprived them of participation in juries and other forms of citizenship. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 14.4 square miles (37 km2), of which 13.9 square miles (36 km2) is land and 0.6 square miles (1.6 km2) is water.[19]. On the afternoon of April 1, opening what would be the final full month of the war, and after skirmishing all morning, Wilson's advanced guard ran into Forrest's line of battle at Ebenezer Church, where the Randolph Road intersected the main Selma road. The 1965 voting rights march from Selma to Montgomery, Ala., became known as Bloody Sunday because it ended in state troopers beating nonviolent protesters as … Source(s): https://shrink.im/a08qq. In modern times, the city is best known for the 1960s civil rights movement and the Selma to Montgomery marches, beginning with "Bloody Sunday" in 1965 and ending with 25,000 people entering Montgomery at the end of the last march to press for voting rights. Forrest was wounded by a saber-wielding Union captain, whom he shot and killed with his revolver. He is still at the bottom, despite the few who have penetrated to slightly higher levels. The Jim Crow laws and customs were enforced with violence. About 26.9% of families and 31.7% of the population were below the poverty line, including 41.8% of those under age 18 and 28.0% of those age 65 or over. There is often no bottom at which to start, and when there is there's almost no room at the top. This strategic concentration of manufacturing capabilities eventually made Selma a target of Union raids into Alabama late in the Civil War.[6]. Today is National Voter Registration Day! As of the 2010 census, there were 20,756 people living in the city. When state troopers met the demonstrators at the edge of the city by the Edmund Pettus Bridge, that day became known as "Bloody Sunday." Jimmie Lee Jackson, who was unarmed, was killed in a café in nearby Marion after state police broke up a peaceful protest in the town. It provided for federal oversight and enforcement of voting rights for all citizens in state or jurisdictions where patterns of underrepresentation showed discrimination against certain populations such as ethnic minorities. The Black Belt, Dallas County, and Selma Alabama. Location of Selma in Dallas County, Alabama. Many soldiers were struck down with clubbed muskets, but they kept pouring into the works with their greater numbers. Selma March, also called Selma to Montgomery March, political march from Selma, Alabama, to the state’s capital, Montgomery, that occurred March 21–25, 1965. Reese, Marie Foster, and Amelia Boynton. All rights reserved. This activism generated national attention for social justice and that summer, the Voting Rights Act of 1965 was passed by Congress to authorize federal oversight and enforcement of constitutional rights of all American citizens. Actually Johnson was renown as a potty mouth who openly referred to Blacks as "niggers." Industries in Selma include International Paper, Bush Hog (agricultural equipment), Plantation Patterns, American Apparel, and Peerless Pump Company (LaBour), Renasol, and Hyundai. When the war ended three weeks later, they were en route to Columbus and Macon, Georgia. Taylor did so after giving Forrest command of the defense. But history is much more complicated. Legal. [clarification needed] Gen. Rousseau made a dash in the direction of Selma, but was misled by his guides and struck the railroad forty miles east of Montgomery. When I ask, "What happened in Selma?," I am really asking what has happened since the events portrayed in the movie and what happened to the struggle for civil rights and social justice in the United States that seemed so promising in 1965. The fighting there was heavy, but by 7 p.m. the superior numbers of Union troops had managed to flank the Southern positions. It was initiated and organized by James Bevel, SCLC's Director of Direct Action, who was directing SCLC's Selma Movement. In the documentary we learn how during the "Bloody Sunday" police attack on marchers on Edmund Pettus Bridge, Hosea Williams, one of the march's leaders, carried an eight-year old girl to safety. He credited the event with giving his parents the idea that they could have a child. Museums in the city include Sturdivant Hall, the National Voting Rights Museum, Historic Water Avenue, Martin Luther King, Jr. Street Historic Walking Tour, Old Depot Museum, Joe Calton Bates Children Education and History Museum, Vaughan-Smitherman Museum and Heritage Village. King pulled the marchers back from entering the county and having another confrontation with county and state forces. The Confederacy's Greatest Cavalryman by Brian Steel Wills, Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, Southeastern League of Professional Baseball, "Selma, Alabama memorializes lynching victims, March 05, 2018", "Selma & the March to Montgomery-A Discussion November–June, 2004–2005", Ari Berman, "Fifty Years After Bloody Sunday in Selma, Everything and Nothing Has Changed", "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990", David J. Krajicek, "On the Road to Selma, a Jim Crow Relic", "Shameful! The SCLC leaders left having organized the citizens of Selma and further efforts to petition the governor died down. Seventeen marchers were hospitalized and 50 more were treated for lesser injuries. Anonymous. Much has changed since 1965. The name, meaning "high seat" or "throne",[4] came from the Ossianic poem The Songs of Selma. They escaped in the darkness by swimming across the Alabama River near the mouth of Valley Creek (where the present day Battle of Selma Reenactment is held.). US History Civil Rights Movement. By the time the marchers reached the capital four days later, on March 25, their strength had swelled to around 25,000 people. In consequence, Negroes are still impoverished aliens in an affluent society." But, Long decided to begin his assault against the Selma fortifications to neutralize the enemy attack in his rear. On March 7, 1965, approximately 600 civil rights marchers departed Selma on U.S. Highway 80, heading east to the capital. From the West Alabama News Network– Preparations for the Annual Bridge Crossing Jubilee are underway in Selma. Threatened with a lawsuit under the Voting Rights Act, the council voted to adopt a system of electing its ten members from single-member districts. [9] All the members of the city council were elected by at-large voting. On Sunday, March 21, 1965, approximately 3,200 marchers departed for Montgomery. People turned their backs on Michael Bloomberg during his Selma speech The billionaire was speaking in front of a historically Black church in Alabama. By then local activists and residents had been joined by hundreds of protesters from across the country, including numerous clergy and nuns. They were 8 feet (2.4 m) to 12 feet (3.7 m) high, 15 feet (4.6 m) thick at the base, with a ditch 4 feet (1.2 m) wide and 5 feet (1.5 m) deep along the front. Later, the Black community gathered in Brown Chapel AME Church. Blacks were prevented from registering to vote by means of a literacy test, administered in a subjective way, as well as through economic retaliation organized by the White Citizens' Council in response to civil rights activism, Ku Klux Klan violence and police repression. Selma is a city in and the county seat of Dallas County, in the Black Belt region of south central Alabama and extending to the west. Selma has four private K–12 schools: John T. Morgan Academy, founded in 1965, Meadowview Christian School, Ellwood Christian Academy, and Cathedral Christian Academy. Selma schools are not just poorly performing by Alabama standards but the situation is even more dire because by some measures Alabama itself has one of the poorest performing school systems in the United States. After the change, five African-American Democrats were elected to the city council, including activist Frederick Douglas Reese, who became a major power in the city; five whites were also elected to the council.[17]. The white Democratic state legislature imposed Jim Crow laws of racial segregation in public facilities and other means of white supremacy. Selma's Bloch Park was home to Southeastern League of Professional Baseball club the Selma Cloverleafs. Selma, Dallas County and other jurisdictions carried out the segregation laws passed by the state. The median income for a household in the city was $21,261, and the median income for a family was $28,345. The works had been built two years earlier,[clarification needed] and while neglected for the most part since, were still formidable. Share this article on Facebook. An Auburn man caught on camera while storming the U.S. Capitol Jan. 6 is now facing charges from the federal government, including civil disorder, entering a … Gen. William Tecumseh Sherman first made an effort to reach it, but after advancing from the west as far as Meridian, Mississippi, within 107 miles (172 km) of Selma, his forces retreated back to the Mississippi River. What started as a virtual funeral, was transformed into a victory celebration as people joined together in singing "Ain't Gonna Let Nobody Turn Me Around." Mixed units of Confederate troops had also occupied the Selma railroad depot and the adjoining banks of the railroad bed to make a stand next to the Plantersville Road (present day Broad Street). In a national report on fair student funding, Alabama received a grade of "D," although it did get a "C" for effort. 29 … Selma To Build Monument Honoring KKK Founder", "Monument to Civil War general, Ku Klux Klan leader triggers controversy", "SelmaDallas County Public Library Main Page", "Selma, 50 years after march, remains a city divided", National Voting Rights Museum and Institute, Institute of Southern Jewish Life, History of Selma, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Selma,_Alabama&oldid=996864186, Short description is different from Wikidata, Pages using infobox settlement with possible nickname list, Pages using infobox settlement with possible area code list, Wikipedia articles needing clarification from August 2020, Articles with unsourced statements from January 2017, Wikipedia articles with MusicBrainz area identifiers, Wikipedia articles with WORLDCATID identifiers, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, Selma was featured in the 1999 Disney television movie, This page was last edited on 28 December 2020, at 23:53. In 1732, they recorded the site of present-day Selma as Écor Bienville. Ralph Abernathy, Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel, Greek Orthodox Father Iakovos (later Archbishop Iakovos of America) and Roman Catholic nuns. Hudson Middle School and the School of Discovery. We made it easy for you to exercise your right to vote. The Federals suffered many casualties (including General Long) but continued their attack. Visit top-rated & must-see attractions. This injunction temporarily halted civil-rights activity until Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. defied it by speaking to a crowd about the struggle at Brown Chapel AME Church on January 2, 1965. The Voting Rights Act was seen by White supporters of civil rights as a final victory, but for Blacks it brought little immediate change. The Federal commander's plan was for Upton to send in a 300-man detachment after dark to cross the swamp on the Confederate right; enter the works, and begin a flanking movement toward the center moving along the line of fortifications. The Europeans encountered the historic Native American people known as the Muscogee (also known as the Creek), who had been in the area for hundreds of years. Social studies educator, Hofstra University, my opinions, of course, are my own, Sign up for membership to become a founding member and help shape HuffPost's next chapter. Selma Interpretive Centre marks the beginning of the National Historic … It was covered by national press and television news, reaching many American and international homes.[15]. [11], In 1963, under the leadership of Patricia Swift Blalock, the public library of Selma-Dallas County was integrated. [12], Against fierce opposition from Dallas County Sheriff Jim Clark and his volunteer posse, blacks continued their voter registration and desegregation efforts, which expanded during 1963 and the first part of 1964. Males had a median income of $29,769 versus $18,129 for females. He quickly remounted his stricken horse and ordered a dismounted assault by several regiments. Selma, Alabama. Share this article on Twitter. Beginning in January 1965, SCLC and SNCC initiated a revived voting-rights campaign designed to focus national attention on the systematic denial of black voting rights in Alabama, and particularly in Selma. It was the 55th anniversary of “Bloody Sunday,” when state troopers viciously attacked black civil rights activists who marched over the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma. [3] About 80% of the population is African-American. They spent the next week destroying the arsenal and naval foundry. The city was planned and named as Selma by William R. King, a politician and planter from North Carolina who was a future vice president of the United States. The events at Selma helped increase public support for the cause; later that year the U.S. Congress passed the Voting Rights Act of 1965, a bill introduced, supported and signed by President Lyndon B. Johnson. helped raise awareness of the difficulty faced by black voters in the South, and the need for a Voting Rights Act, passed later that year. This is not a movie review, although I do discuss the movie Selma. French explorers and colonists were the first Europeans to explore this area. In front of this was a 5 feet (1.5 m)-high picket fence of heavy posts planted in the ground and sharpened at the top. Overall, the district is ranked number 85 out of 100 school districts in the state. Anonymous. 22 terms. Their cause must be our cause too. Wilson's forces captured a Confederate courier, who was found to be carrying dispatches from Confederate General Nathan Bedford Forrest describing his scattered forces. Long's troops attacked in a single rank in three main lines, dismounted and shooting their Spencer's carbines, supported by their own artillery fire. The activists were attempting to walk 50 miles from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama, to protest voter suppression of African Americans. He had been invited by local leaders to help their movement.[14]. Selma, AL Directions {{::location.tagLine.value.text}} Sponsored Topics. Six hundred marchers assembled in Selma on Sunday, March 7, and led by John Lewis and other SNCC and SCLC activists, crossed the Edmund Pettus Bridge over the Alabama River en route to Montgomery. On March 30, 1865, Union General James H. Wilson detached Gen. John T. Croxton's brigade to destroy all Confederate property at Tuscaloosa. In Selma, with a population of a little over 20,000 people, 80% of whom are African American, the official unemployment rate hovers at about 12%, more than twice the national average. Help. Forrest's defenders consisted of his Tennessee escort company, McCullough's Missouri Regiment, Crossland's Kentucky Brigade, Roddey's Alabama Brigade, Frank Armstrong's Mississippi Brigade, General Daniel W. Adams' state reserves, and the citizens of Selma who were "volunteered" to man the works. It is the effort of American Negroes to secure for themselves the full blessings of American life. [23], As part of its Civil War history, a monument to native Nathan Bedford Forrest, a Confederate General, was installed in Old Live Oak Cemetery. Selma was a trading center and market town during the antebellum years of King Cotton in the South. Tourist attractions arsenal and naval foundry agriculture does not provide enough jobs the superior numbers of troops their. 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