Preparing for Selma 51
MAJ Tracy Riley (RET) is preparing for #Selma51 an iconic celebration of African American rights and stance for justice. This year, Selma 51 will honor the life of Amelia Boynton Robinson. Read more about Selma below.
Affectionately called “The Jubilee”, it was founded in Selma, Alabama as a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization. Our commitment is to the commemoration and preservation of the spirit of the struggle for the right to vote in this country and the world. Our goal is to inspire people of all ages and ethnic backgrounds to respect and appreciate the power of their vote.
This annual event in Selma, Alabama, commemorates “Bloody Sunday,” which occurred March 7, 1965, when a group of about 525 African American demonstrators gathered at Browns Chapel to demand the right to vote. They walked six blocks to Broad Street, then across the Edmund Pettus Bridge, where they were met by more than 50 state troopers and a few dozen possemen on horseback. When the demonstrators refused to turn back, they were brutally beaten. At least 17 were hospitalized, and 40 others received treatment for injuries and
the effects of tear gas. The attack, which was broadcast on national television, caught the attention of millions of Americans and became a symbol of the brutal racism of the South. Two weeks later, the Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr. and 3,200 civil rights protesters marched the 49 miles from Selma to the state capital, Montgomery—an event that prompted Congress to pass the Voting Rights Act.Every year on the first weekend in March, the Bridge Crossing Jubilee commemorates both the bloody confrontation at the Pettus Bridge and the march from Selma to Montgomery that followed. Events include a parade, a Miss Jubilee Pageant, a mock trial, and a commemorative march to the bridge. Every five years, celebrants continue all the way to Montgomery.