Martin Luther King Jr. Later that night, a white group beat and murdered a white activist: Reeb died of head injuries two days later in the hospital; he was 38 years old.
Reflections On Selma As someone who's professional and personal life involves many areas of Selma reflection justice and equality, I have often been moved by the work and legacy of those who have persevered through trials in order to see a better world. One of the most powerful moments of my life occurred inwhen I helped to lead a Justice Journey with members from Willow Creek Community Church and Salem Baptist Church in the Chicago area on a spiritual pilgrimage through the southern United States.
The journey consisted of dialogue about the history of the African American experience, the civil rights movement and race in America. Our group consisted of almost 40 African Americans and Caucasians who spent the week together traveling through the Deep South visiting memorials, museums and people who had been a part of the movement.
In Alabama, our group was introduced to two amazing women who had been teenagers during the voting rights protests and non-violent resistance in Selma.
These events have been brought back into my mind and the national consciousness by the recent release of the movie Selma. En route, the protestors found their way blocked by police forces and state troopers, who ordered them to turn around.
The white police shot tear gas into the crowd and used clubs to beat back the marchers.
More than 50 people were hospitalized in what came to be known as " Bloody Sunday. Finally, on March 21,a successful march occurred under federal protection, and protestors were able to travel from Selma to Montgomery. The Voting Rights Act of passed a few months later.
During the justice Journey inour group prepared to once again cross the Edmund Pettus Bridge, symbolizing the beginning of the historic march. As had our predecessors half a century before, our group met for worship in Brown Chapel.
At one moment during our worship service Mrs.
Mays, an elderly African American woman and choir member at Salem Baptist, stood up in the choir loft and began to sing: Oh freedom, oh freedom, oh freedom over me And before I'd be a slave I'll be buried in my grave And go home to my Lord and be free.
No more mourning, no more mourning, no more mourning over me. And before I'd be a slave I'll be buried in my grave And go home to my Lord and be free. No more crying, no more crying, no more crying over me. Tears streamed down my face as she sang.
Her voice was as pure as angel's, and it resonated throughout the historic chapel. As she sang about freedom, her worship was a declaration of God's promises to his people that one day true freedom will come. Our group, accompanied by the two women who had been present during the traumatic events of Bloody Sunday, joined arm in arm and marched from Brown Chapel across the Edmund Pettus Bridge.
It was the first time those women had crossed the bridge in forty years. As I reflect on the memory of that memorial walk across the bridge I am reminded that we are still longing for and singing, "Oh freedom. It is important and necessary to continue to have conversations and take action in pursuit of peace, justice, and reconciliation.
While on-the-ground organizing and the work of marches and protest are still important, we are also seeing these conversations happen on social media, such as the Evangelicals for Justice Evangelicals4J twitter-teach in after a viewing of Selma.
Find ways to participate in conversations like these - to learn about our history and our current context and then live out the teachings and the truth of these movements for justice in a way that honors God in your community.The movie “Selma,” directed by Ava DuVernay, is a subtle, restrained account of a period of the most extreme American violence against black people, focused on the leadership and struggles of Martin and Coretta King as well as the many who joined them in Selma and around the country.
Bloody Sunday, Selma Bloody Sunday, as it came to be known, was a nonviolent march for voting rights from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama on March 7, where peaceful demonstrators marched despite threats of violence.
A reflection from a guest blogger who visited Selma for the 50th Anniversary of Bloody Sunday. Selma is a historical film directed by Ava DuVernay and based on the Selma to Montgomery voting rights marches led by James Bevel, Hosea Williams, Martin Luther King Jr., and John Lewis.
These marches led to the passing of the Voting Rights Act, a landmark achievement of the s Civil Rights Movement. The movie "Selma" offers United Methodists a chance to reflect on what the church can learn from its own history and the movie about the Civil Rights march.
Selma should cause honest reflection about the state of our affairs. America must move past Selma, always remembering, but beginning to deal with the future.
America must move past Selma, always remembering, but beginning to deal with the future.