Dr. King & The Pursuit of Happiness

When Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was assassinated (6:01 p.m. April 4, 1968), he and his team was in Memphis to support black sanitation workers. The struggle for economic equality, a transition from the campaigns that the world had come to know from the leader of the civil rights movement. The civil rights movement more than a decade before Dr. King’s assassination, enjoyed a series of hard fought battles.  The landmark U.S. Supreme Court decision, …

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Selma; Notes From the Field – Chapter 3, Hwy 80

After Bloody Sunday (March 7, 1965) and Turnaround Tuesday, the task to complete a Selma to Montgomery march still remained. This time, beginning on March 21st, the determined were escorted by the United States Army, federalized Alabama National Guard troops and guarded by two helicopters. One week after Bloody Sunday, on March 15, 1965, President Johnson addressed a joint session of Congress to urge the passage of legislation guaranteeing the passage of the voting rights act. …

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Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. & Voting Rights

After the Civil War, three amendments were added to the United States Constitution to address the new reality for free blacks.  The 13th forbidding slavery, the 14th guaranteeing all people the same rights and privileges as everyone else and finally the 15th, the right to vote without regard to race or color or previous condition of servitude. The right to vote proved to be elusive for blacks especially in the South. States and local governments, …

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Selma; Notes From the Field – Chapter 2; Voting

Voter Registration Tests & Protests: Chapter 2: a series that chronicles the events in the Selma, Alabama area prior to Bloody Sunday and ending with the brutal attack by Klansmen on Viola Liuzzo. A new voter registration test implemented a few months before the March 7th march to Montgomery was challenged by the U. S. Justice Department on January 15th. It was common for African-Americans to be tested when registering to vote and in some cases …

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Selma; Notes From the Field – Chapter 1; Prison Camps

In the immediate days and months before the Selma to Montgomery March in 1965 (Bloody Sunday), an extensive and concentrated voting rights effort was implemented in Dallas County (Selma) and the surrounding counties in Alabama. Local law enforcement and the Alabama State Troopers responded with unprecedented retaliation. Representatives of primarily from SNCC (Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee), high school students and other volunteers, were arrested at an alarming rate. More than 3,000 men, woman, and children were …

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Viola Was Murdered

The call went out. Volunteers were needed. The march from Selma, Alabama to the Alabama State Capitol in Montgomery was going to be attempted again. People black and white traveled to the area from everywhere to assist in the event. Living in Detroit at the time with her husband and five children, Viola decided to drive to Alabama and volunteer, it took three days to drive to Selma in her Oldsmobile. Viola Liuzzo saw the way …

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