Selma to commemorate”Bloody Sunday” will host largest voting rights commemoration event in US

Edmund Pettus Bridge 2015 event
Edmund Pettus Bridge 50th Anniversary event in Selma, March 7, 2015. [Photo Credit: Official White House Photo | Lawrence Jackson]

On Thursday, March 2 through Sunday, March 5, Selma, Ala. will host the largest voting rights commemoration event in the country — the Bridge Crossing Jubilee 2017 — remembering the 52nd anniversary of the Selma to Montgomery “Bloody Sunday” march.

This annual event commemorates “Bloody Sunday,” when on March 7, 1965, a group of roughly 525 African American protesters planned to cross the Edmund Pettus Bridge on their civil rights march to Montgomery to demand the right to vote. At the bridge they where they were met by more than 50 state troopers and a few dozen men on horseback. When the demonstrators refused to turn back, they were brutally beaten, leaving at least 17 hospitalized, and 40 others injured.

Bloody Sunday fighting
Fighting at the Edmund Pettus Bridge on Bloody Sunday, March 7, 1965.

The violent attack, which was broadcast on national television, caught the attention of millions of Americans and was aptly dubbed “Bloody Sunday” and ultimately became a rallying point for civil rights leaders.

While details of this year’s event are still being finalized, there will be workshops on the following topics:

  • Voting
  • Immigration
  • Criminal Justice
  • Education Economic Empowerment
  • Health and Environment
  • Special Workshop by SNCC Legends

Additionally, the weekend will feature over 40 events including:

  • Parade
  • Blues
  • Hip-hop and gospel music festival
  • Step show
  • Pageant
  • Mock trial
  • Unity breakfast
  • Freedom Flame Awards
  • Hip-hop summit
  • Storytelling by Living History Makers
  • March re-enactment and more

Those interested in attending may purchase tickets online.