Pettus Bridge

In: Historical Events

Submitted By msisay
Words 2180
Pages 9
Minelik Sisay
Professor Greene
Pettus Bridge as a Place of Memory
Selma, Alabama became the focus of the Civil Rights Movement as activists, such as John Lewis and Dr. King, worked to register black voters. Martin Luther King’s voter registration movement worked on a city-by-city approach, gathering national attention. Other civil rights leaders, such as John Lewis and William Hosea, worked more locally in the most dangerous areas of the Deep South for African-Americans. While both worked to register voters, King’s method is better characterized as an attempt to change the public discourse about race in this country, while John Lewis’ method attempted to change public action. Led by John Lewis and William Hosea, “Bloody Sunday” occurred as a result of the fight for freedom and equality. In order to make some headway against centuries of legally sanctioned racism and discrimination, the United States government began to promote and support the Civil Rights Movement.
The relatively scarce attention the march in US history textbooks is quite disappointing in a sense that it illustrates an event that is not fully depicted. The battle fought on the bridge, in a way, is being fought till this day. Voter registration laws, though not as harsh as Jim Crow literacy tests, create barriers that restrict minorities from having the opportunity to vote. By surveying a few of the patterns of inequality that still prevail in many sectors of American society, this essay will explore the significance of the bridge and what it represents. The annual march held in recognition of “Bloody Sunday” promotes a sense of hope for a better future and efforts to correct the effects of persistent discrimination. Ironically, the Edmund Pettus Bridge is named after a Confederate general and U.S. senator, but holds as strong a memory in the black community. The bridge evokes emotions…...

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