On February 5, 2015, after the premier of Ava DuVernay’s controversial film, Selma, Diane Nash, leader of the Nashville student sit-ins and field secretary for both the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) and the Southern Leadership Conference (SCLC), as guest columnist for the National Newspaper Publishers Association, published a short opinion piece in The New Journal and Guide. Responding to a specific critique of the film, the one in which Joseph A. Califano, Jr., former Assistant for Domestic Affairs to President Lyndon Johnson, stated that Selma was LBJ’s idea, Nash entitled her essay, “LBJ Doesn’t Deserve Credit for Selma,” and writes,
The impression too often perpetuated in history books and popular culture is that you have to be a president, someone special or White to have an important idea… This is an idea that disempowers citizens and should not be propagated…It was the courage, work, thoughtfulness, sacrifice, discipline and determination of citizens of the United States that obtained our right to vote.1
I begin this discussion with the response by Diane Nash in part because it disrupts top-down versions of U.S. history and dominant narratives about the 1960s freedom struggle. But Nash’s refutation of Califano’s assertion that the original idea of the Selma to Montgomery march was that of President Lyndon Johnson also demonstrates how both the public and historical memory of the Selma voting rights movement remains a contested terrain. In a similar vein, comments made by historian, Emily Crosby about the film also complicate historical interpretations of the Selma movement. Challenging the great-man paradigm in history as well as the narrative of uncomplicated and uncompromising adherence to nonviolence in Selma, Crosby explains that, while civil rights activists used nonviolent tactics in public demonstrations, at home and in their own communities, they consistently used weapons to defend themselves. Equally important, she clarifies how the televised violence on the Edmund Pettus bridge and Bloody Sunday, the 54-mile trek from Selma to Montgomery, the images of interracial marchers, and President Johnson’s signing the Voting Rights Act are all iconic visual representations that reinforce a simplistic version of history described by movement activists as “Rosa sat down, Martin stood up and white folks came south to save the day.”2
What I want to explore here, however, is how the historic and geopolitical space of Selma, Dallas and Lowndes County, Alabama, may be seen, like the structure spanning the river, as a threshold space, a symbolic and metaphoric bridge in U.S historical development, one that moves from the Civil War to civil rights, a bridge that connects the end of the first Reconstruction in 1876 to the hope of a second Reconstruction in 1965. Selma and Dallas County,, at key moments in time, constituted a critical passageway from an old social, political and economic order to a new, from law-enforced segregation to black enfrachisement in the South. Moreover, Selma especially in the wake of the 50th anniversary commemorative year, can also be seen as a complex “bridge-of-becoming,” as a space of transition from the form of democracy to the substance democracy.” At the same time, given some appraisals of Selma as the freedom movement’s “finest hour,” as one those moments and places where the “nation’s destiny” was decided.3 I want to also explore mass media’s public memory of Selma. This memory, I hypothesize, has not only created a consumable past in which grassroots activism largely disappears but has also fostered a narrative of triumph, one that not only simplifies and leaves out complexities and contradictions, but one that, as Diane Nash observes, disempowers citizens and discourages critical citizenship practice.
Near the end of this discussion, however, I also consider the memorial landscape of Selma, Dallas and Lowndes County, Alabama, and how the museums, the institute, the historic trails and interpretive centers now clustered around the most famous bridge in U.S. constitutional history have become collectively not just a site of memory, but a symbolic and metaphoric bridge, a bridge that not only connects slavery and the Civil War to civil rights and the vision of civil equality but a bridge of human connectivity that journeys from narratives of triumph and consensus memory toward the goal of a society that answers its call to conscience.4
The city that has become pivotal in both civil rights historiography and public memory was founded in 1817 on 460 acres near the Alabama River. By 1860, Selma and Dallas County, Alabama, had the third largest per capita income in the United States. Labeled the “queen city” of the Alabama black belt, Selma, with its naval foundry, manufacturing center and military depot, had also been a slave market and was strategic to the defense of the Confederacy.5 It was also the site of one the last battles fought in the Civil War. Having been routed on April 1, 1865, by Union General John Harrison Wilson, Confederate General Nathan Bedford Forrest retreated to Selma where, on April 2, 1865, three divisions of 13,500 Union soldiers defeated the fewer than 2,000 Confederate soldiers Forrest had mustered to meet them. Lacking formal military training, Forrest had been a slave trader before the war and was associated with the massacre of black and Union prisoners at Fort Pillow, Tennessee. Along with some of his officers and men, Forrest escaped Selma before the Confederates surrendered and later served as the first grand dragon of the Ku Klux Klan but has been praised, nevertheless, by historian Shelby Foote, as one of the “authentic geniuses” of the Civil War.6 Because so few Civil War battles were fought in the Alabama black belt, the battle at Selma became a potent symbol of state pride, honor and connection to the greater Confederate war effort. The battle also legitimized a place for the city, with its memorial to Nathan Bedford Forrest, in the history of the Confederacy and enabled Selma to become a bastion of resistance to racial change.
A bridge from the world of slave markets, coerced labor, war, prison camps and emancipation to the era of the Reconstruction, Selma, from 1867-1877 experienced viable black political empowerment. With the Union army enforcing the Fifteenth Amendment, black voters helped to elect Benjamin Sterling Turner, who was raised a slave in Selma, to national office. Turner, who had managed to secure some education, had served as Dallas County tax collector and as member of the Selma City council, before his election to the 42nd Congress. He served from 1871 to 1873. However, between 1868 and 1876 thirteen African Americans from Dallas County also served as members of the Alabama State Legislature.7 When Reconstruction and “Black Rule” ended in 1877, Selma became the locus of what Donald Stone, a Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) field secretary during the 1960s, has called the “white leagues:” the Knights of the White Camellia and the Ku Klux Klan. Through the lens of biography, Stone recounts in Fallen Prince how by 1877 all the black elected officials from Dallas County, “had been driven from the national legislature,” and then goes on to describe the domestic terrorism.
The period of 1868 – 1871, in the state of Alabama alone, records over 370 cases of violence against Blacks, resulting in 35 murders. The recently freed bondspeople were subject to lynchings, mass murders,beatings, midnight raids, burnings and theft of their livestock and meager land holdings.8
With Black people being effectively disenfranchised by 1901, the geopolitical space of Selma, Alabama, like the rest of the south, became part of the arc of violence and terror that spanned from the era of Reconstruction into another epoch, the era of segregation and Jim Crow. As Jack O’Dell, advisor to Martin Luther King, Jr. and editor of Freedomways magazine explains,
An important fact of history is that the country experienced a period of retrogression during the last quarter of the Nineteenth Century in which lynchings, institutionalized segregation and the development of a mass culture of racism became the order of the day.9
In Selma, as Emilye Crosby and others have explained, the white power structure used economic, “legal” and extra-legal means, including terrorism, to prevent African Americans from accessing their constitutional right to vote. As one law enforcement officer once bragged, the unwritten rule in Alabama was if the mobs don’t stop Negroes, the police can; and if the police can’t, the courts will. By the time Martin Luther King, Jr. and SCLC were invited to launch a campaign in Selma, local organizations, most notably the Dallas County Voters League (DCVL) and field secretaries from the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC), most notably Bernard and Colia Lafayette, had been at work in the city for more than two years.
But there was a little-known event in 1958 which linked the 1963 arrival of the Lafayettes in Selma to the 1957 Civil Rights Act and ultimately to the 1965 Voting Rights legislation. Conceptualized as a regional effort for African American enfranchisement and organized by the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC), this first phase of what was to become a southern voting rights movement was officially launched in Miami, Florida on February 12, 1958, and was aptly named the “Crusade for Citizenship.” The program was launched as a series of simultaneous mass meetings held in 27 cities to stimulate African American voter registration and begin the process of voter education. With the stated purpose of doubling the number of “qualified Negro voters in the South,” the Crusade for Citizenship, organized while Ella Baker was still Associate Director of SCLC, proposed to create registration clinics, leadership workshops, public meetings and mass print communication “to realize the potential voting strength of the Negro population in the South and to give real meaning to the 1957 Civil Right Act.”10 In the speech he delivered to launch the Crusade, Martin Luther King, Jr., addressed and in some ways attempted to mediate, as did many leaders in the early phases of the civil rights struggle, the politics of regional identity. Near the end of his speech, he appeals to both black and white southerners, asserting that the South could not afford to permit the United States and its heritage to be dishonored “before the world.” He goes on to explain finally how ensuring the voting rights of African Americans in the South was not just about exercising Constitutional rights. It was about fulfilling a duty and upholding a moral obligation to disrupt the political domination of a small minority that not only crippled the economic and social institutions of the nation but also impoverished and degraded all of its citizens.11
With the Crusade for Citizenship and the 1957 Civil Rights Act as background, the Selma voting rights movement and the city itself may be seen as a threshold space, as a pivotal moment of transition from early movement efforts at enfranchisement for African Americans in the South to the national legislative victory of the 1965 Voting Rights Act. Interestingly enough, Lyndon Baines Johnson had an important role in both moments. Identifying the substantive weakness of the 1957 Civil Rights Act as political victory by southern Democrats, Val J. Washington, then Director of Minorities for the Republican National Committee sent a letter, issued as a press release, to Texas Senator Lyndon Baines Johnson. Along with other southern Democratic leaders, Johnson, Val Washington contends, had emasculated the 1957 bill with four “unfriendly votes.” In the letter, Washington outlines all of Johnson’s votes with emphasis on the last and the most damaging.
On August 1, you voted for Trial by Jury in voting rights cases which would automatically eliminate any chance for Negroes to be protected in most Southern states. If a Southern jury would not convict confessed kidnappers of Emmett Till after he was found murdered, why would they convict an election official for refusing to give a Negro his right of suffrage?12
While a number of scholarly works acknowledge the complexities of Johnson’s role in the long trajectory of the civil rights struggle, mass media representations of Selma and the 1965 Voting Rights Act, have emphasized the personalities of President Lyndon Baines Johnson and Dr.King to construct political and historical meaning. The speeches by both men have been given special historical importance. Two presidential speeches, however, the March 15th speech before Congress in which Johnson closed with the rallying slogan of the movement, “And we shall overcome,” and the speech made at the August 6 signing of the Voting Rights Act in which the President named the “the outrage of Selma” as the major stimulus for the authorization of federal examiners inscribe the triumph of U.S. democracy.13 Most audiences and spectators are thereby led to conclude that the institutional structures of government and political elites ultimately achieved voting rights for African Americans. As Diane Nash discerns in her response to the statement by Joseph A. Califano, Jr., the difficult, day-to-day, dangerous work of individuals, local communities and organizations along with any real attention to or analysis of the complicated interaction between state and citizen are both left out.
Writing just weeks after the August 6, 1965 signing of the Voting Rights Act, Jack O’Dell offers a useful analysis of the Selma campaign in the article, “The Threshold of A New Reconstruction.” Observing that the Edmund Pettus Bridge at Selma might suggest that the entire Freedom Movement was “on the bridge” – in this sense, the bridge of historical development -- O’Dell goes on to describe that moment in the freedom struggle, not as its “finest hour” but as a threshold moment, a time “more ripe with possibilities for major advances or serious retrogression than any period since the overthrow of the first reconstruction” .
In a very real sense….the basic reality is that there are powerful forces who oppose our “crossing the bridge,” in our independent way, for they understand, as we must, that once we cross the bridge into the political epoch, things will never be the same again for us or them.14
O’Dell identifies the freedom struggle’s moving into a new “political epoch” as a bridge crossing, but one that necessitated negotiating a host of conflicts, contradictions, strengths and weaknesses, which I suggest here might be seen as the flux and drive of a metaphoric river beneath. As he described it, crossing the bridge of historical development in 1965 entailed negotiating a number of issues:
the barbarism of State police power, especially in the south; contradictions within the Freedom movement itself; the selfless bravery and determination of the grassroots black population prepared to face terror alone while seeking honest allies; the vacillations and maneuverings of a Federal government trying to serve both the forces of racism and democracy at the same time; the personal martyrdom of the Freedom Fighters.15
With the assertion that Selma as symbol of the freedom struggle as a whole was on “the threshold,” O’Dell offers a framework for understanding and evaluating the concrete achievements of the movement at that time. Dismantling public forms of segregation and winning the passage of new legislation that reaffirmed the equal rights principle under the constitution, he explains, were significant concessions. But looking at those achievements as signs of the “great progress” was problematic and had the potential to become one of the great stumbling blocks in the political psychology of well-meaning liberals, both black and white. What Selma represented, O’Dell ultimately concludes, was taking up again where the first Reconstruction had left off.16
Since 1965, the “great progress” theme has rather consistently undergirded the “consensus memory” of Selma and the civil rights movement in mass culture. Looking at what has been left out of mass media representations over the last several decades, Leigh Raiford and Renee Romano have discerned that consensus memory of the 1960s freedom struggle is now used as a “shining example of the success of democracy.” They go to explain,
the state has a strong interest in using the memory of the movement as a tool of nation building and of fostering hegemony through consensus. The movement in this way can become proof of the vitality of America’s legal and political institutions and evidence of the nation’s ongoing quest to live up to its founding ideals of egalitarianism and justice.17
Moreover, representations of the civil rights struggle in mass culture tend to follow, like the consensus memory of the other seminal events in U.S. history, the contours of triumphal narratives. While there may be recognition of brutality, suffering, and loss, narratives of triumph almost always give a sense of completion, that the enemy or the obstacle has been overcome leaving little to do except celebrate the victory. Because they give audiences and spectators a simple story line, a coherent narrative that we all can enjoy, narratives of triumph do not prompt critical questions. What has been left out? What realities have been obscured? What controversies, complexities and tensions have been glossed over? More important and perhaps even more problematic, triumphal narratives almost always leave the same power relations intact.18
Using the civil rights movement as example of U.S. democracy in action and as instrument in the project of nation-building on the contemporary world stage is even more compelling when we consider, as Jelani Cobb informs us, that there are more than six hundred and fifty streets named for Martin Luther King, Jr. in the United States alone. There are also parks, streets and monuments dedicated to him in Australia, Austria, France, Germany, South Africa, Israel, Italy, Senegal and Zambia.19 Given the international exposure of the violence by Dallas County deputies and Alabama state troopers on March 7, 1965, the original protest sites of the Edmund Pettus Bridge and Selma have also become, for activists both in the U.S. and abroad, sites of memory, heritage and commemoration. Much like the international legacy of Martin Luther King, Jr., Selma now functions as an arc of history and cultural memory, bridging national and transnational events and aspirations into shared perceptions of human rights and social justice.20
Skillfully referencing history and cultural memory and linking his election to the presidency of the United States to the successes of the civil rights struggle, President Obama returned to Selma in March of 2015 to mark the fiftieth anniversary of the bridge crossing. A reported 20,000 people descended on Selma for two days of public remembrance, for a glimpse of the first family, and a chance to walk across the bridge. After acknowledging the presence of President Bush and his wife, Vice-President Joe Biden, Congressman John Lewis and other elected officials, President Obama began his speech, echoing Lyndon Baines Johnson, by noting that, like the historical war sites of Concord, Appomattox, and Gettysburg, and like other sites symbolizing American daring and character, Selma was a place where the nation’s destiny had been decided. The President then went on to explain,
In one afternoon, 50 years ago, so much of our turbulent history—the stain of slavery and the anguish of civil war; the yoke of segregation and tyranny of Jim Crow; the death of four little girls in Birmingham; and the dream of a Baptist preacher---all that history on this bridge.21
Affirming and to some degree expanding mass media’s public memory of Selma, the violence on the bridge and the saving grace of the Voting Rights Act, President Obama’s speech does the expected work of consensus memory. It reinforces the boundaries of current public discourse by legitimizing national institutions and national identity. As Edward P. Morgan discerns, mass media has created a dominant narrative about the civil rights past that has become a “kind of self-contained media reality,” one designed for mass consumption.22 And the major theme running through that narrative is that the horror of racial oppression occurred in the south but these horrors were erased when civil rights activists appealed to the national conscience and the federal government; that the federal government played a crucial role in righting the wrongs of segregation and Jim Crow; that the country’s greatest hypocrisy, or at (least its most blatant forms, were then removed.
David Remnick’s 2010 biography of President Obama, aptly titled The Bridge: the Life and Rise of Barack Obama, affirms and extends, to some degree, the boundaries of consensus memory of Selma and the Edmund Pettus Bridge especially in the 2011 Vintage paperback edition. In that later edition there are two purposefully sequenced photographs, with a blank page in between, presented as the first three pages of the book. The first photograph is a color image in muted tones of yellow and white that shows Obama scaling the steps of Capitol Hill with the central Capitol dome in the background. The second photograph, coming after the blank page, is Spider Martin’s 1965 black and white photograph of the marchers at a standstill before attempting to cross the Edmund Pettus bridge. The leaders of the march, John Lewis, Hosea Williams, Albert Turner and Bob Mants, stand silently facing Alabama state troopers and Dallas County deputies who have already in motion to begin the attack.
Together the photographs offer a purposeful visualization of how President Obama’s life and first election may be seen as a bridge from the racial violence of Bloody Sunday in 1965 to the election of the first African American president in 2008. Equally important, the two photographs are also a visual reinforcement of the statement made by John Lewis on the day before the 2008 inauguration, that “Barack Obama is what comes at the end of that bridge in Selma.”23
Since the 1980s, there have been annual Jubilee crossings of the Edmund Pettus Bridge But the fiftieth anniversary celebrations of Selma and the civil rights movement, in many ways constituted another crossing, one that has moved “beyond” what the bridge symbolized in 1965. The difference can be explained in part because fiftieth anniversaries, as John Dower notes, are not like other commemorative observances.24 The first difference is that people who participated in events that occurred a half century before, in most instances, are still alive and able to share their experiences. The living presence and stories of actual participants connect younger generations who have no recollection or may not have been born at the time of the original event. More important, after fifty years historians gain access to materials that may have been ignored or not accessible before and are able to ask new questions and generate new perspectives on the significance of the event. Selma was different, however. As Martin Luther King, Jr. noted in his report to the SCLC convention on August 11 in Birmingham, forty of the “nation’s top historians” had participated in the march from Selma to Montgomery.25 One of those historians, the Harvard-trained, African American, John Hope Franklin, writes about the specifics of the call for forty historians to participate in the march in his autobiography, Mirror to America. After explaining how Walter Johnson from the University of Chicago issued the call, Franklin goes on to list ten of the most prominent scholars and their institutional affiiations at that time. Among the total number were C. Vann Woodward, Richard Hofstader and Bernard Wiesberg.26 So there were immediate perceptions and perspectives on the significance of the voting rights campaign, interpretations generated very soon after the movement that were beyond the usual range, process and time frame for scholarly appraisals of historic events. Given the presence of not just historians, but theologians, educators and other march participants who went on to create and contribute to the print and visual archive on the civil rights movement, Selma was unique in having encouraged and inspired a generation of “memory creators,” activist scholars and documentarians who were actually “on the bridge.”
For that reason, scholarship on Selma has generated perspectives that make it possible to see the events of the voting rights campaign and its aftermath as a symbolic “bridge of becoming.” Used in 1965 by Jack O’Dell, the phrase, “bridge-of-becoming,” referenced how Selma might have represented a shift from a limited protest movement to a full-fledged social movement concerned not just with removing barriers to full opportunity, but with achieving the reality of equality. However, even with new laws, the barriers to black voter participation did not come down without violent resistance. There were several tragic events that occurred in the aftermath of Selma. But because they countered the “great progress” theme of victory and closure, because they pointed not just to the insidious residue of racism, but to the structural violence of poverty and the actual violence of vigilante and police brutality, these events did not affirm permissible media or political viewpoints. For years some of these events were left out of public memory of Selma. The murder in Hayneville, Alabama, of a 26-year-old seminarian, Jonathan Myrick Daniels, from the Episcopal Theological School in Cambridge, Massachusetts, two weeks after President Johnson signed the Voting Rights Act and the dispossession of sharecropping families in Lowndes County were two such events. After the galvanizing footage of Bloody Sunday and the lofty speeches of Lyndon Baines Johnson and Martin Luther King, Jr., the dispossession and terror of Lowndes County did not affirm triumphal narratives of closure and final victory. And for those who had envisioned the Selma to Montgomery march and the Voting Rights Act as a bridge to freedom, what the murder and dispossession made clear was that, in the Alabama black belt, the bridge from segregation, racial violence and disenfranchisement to justice and equality was still under construction.
Daniels was murdered in Hayneville, Lowndes County, Alabama, by part-time deputy sheriff, Tom Coleman on August 20, 1965. He had participated in voter registration activities with the Lowndes County Freedom Organization (LCFO), and was jailed in Lowndes County the week before his death. According to those who had been in jail with him, Daniels had shown a special commitment and strength in demonstrating morale-building support for the other activists. After his release, along with three other workers, Daniels tried to enter a local store where Coleman pointed a shotgun in the direction of Ruby Sales, an African American teenager. When Daniels jumped in front of Sales to protect her, Coleman fired and killed Daniels. Another minister who was with the group was also wounded. In keeping with the practice of exonerating perpetrators of police and vigilante brutality and murder, Tom Coleman was acquitted by an all-white jury six weeks later.27
Within weeks of the signing of the Voting Rights Act, not only did Jonathan Daniels fall victim to violence, but sharecropping farmers who attempted to register to vote or were involved in voter registration activities at any level were systematically thrown off the farms where their families lived and worked by white landowners. 28 Although literacy tests had been suspended and federal agents appointed to monitor elections, newly enfranchised black voters were still vulnerable to extremist violence and terror. To offer some measure of protection, the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) and Lowndes County leaders began in December, 1965, to help several displaced families remain in the county by setting up Tent City on land owned by Mathew Jackson near highway 80. SNCC and its Lowndes County partners bought tents, cots, heaters, food and water and helped several families survive the dispossession by turning Tent City into a community. The National Park Service reports that there were instances of harassment and intimidation, including shots regularly fired into the camp, but residents remained and persevered for nearly two years until organizers helped them to find jobs, permanent housing and new lives.
With the murder of Jon Daniels and the dispossession of black sharecroppers, the geographic space of Lowndes county in 1965 linked two important markers in the history of the South: the triumph of the 1965 voting rights legislation and the absurd, violent response of southern extremists to changes in race relations. Representing regression or a reverse bridging from civil rights back to the aftermath of the Civil War, the violence, death and dispossession in Lowndes county also indicated how the “bridge-of-becoming” was still an incomplete structure.
Because of the growing emphasis on civic and public memory, sites in Selma and in Dallas and Lowndes County may be seen as generating another kind of threshold, another kind of bridge, one marked and partly made possible by the U.S. Congress, Congressman John Lewis and two Alabama attorneys, Rose and Hank Sanders, who met at Harvard Law School and returned to Selma to work for social justice and social change. Created by Congress in 1996, the Selma to Montgomery National Historic Trail, a combination of heritage trail, historic markers, interpretive center and museum, operates under the aegis of the National Park Service and the U.S. Department of the Interior. This Historic Trail, therefore, has not been shaped entirely by market-driven codes and biases. More important, created with and through local partnerships and collaborations, the National Historic Trail has produced a body of visual and print materials, that presents a more complex and inclusive narrative of the history, politics, memory and grassroots struggle in the Alabama black belt during the 1960s.
Eschewing, for the most part, mass media narratives of triumph, victory and closure, the Lowndes County Interpretative Center of the Selma to Montgomery National Historic Site focuses on the stories of Jonathan Myrick Daniels, Tent City, the Teachers and Ministers Marches and even SCLC’s 1965 Summer Community Organization for Political Education (SCOPE) project that sought to implement voting rights throughout the south. Because its purpose is to interpret and preserve “the important stories of the Selma voting rights movement, inspiring all citizens to be vigilant in protecting their constitutional rights,” the Lowndes County Interpretive Center includes a replica of a tent home within the Center itself and has created an outdoor site for Tent City situated within the boundaries of the land space of Lowndes County.29 The replica of the tent home and the story of Tent City are more than just the story of Lowndes County sharecroppers struggle for citizenship rights. Tent City also tells the story of how human connectivity, effective bridge leadership, ingenuity and innovation can empower individuals and communities to “cross over” terror and dispossession and sustain a commitment to their goals. Ultimately Tent City is the story of how ordinary citizens, in answering the call to conscience, can bridge the theory of democracy to its implementation.
Fifty years after Tent City, the growing infrastructure of monuments, memorials and museums throughout the South now includes not just the National Historic Trail, but the National Voting Rights Museum and Institute located at the foot of the Edmund Pettus Bridge and the Slavery and Civil War Museum in downtown Selma, both founded and sustained by two African American civil rights attorneys, one a state legislator. In the same way, another category of visual documents from the civil rights movement, social movement photography, has been retrieved, expanded and to some degree institutionalized to link the actual events of the Selma marches and voting rights movement to contemporary audiences and spectators. Photographs of women, children, poor and working class families now provide visual evidence of a much wider grassroots participation in the Alabama freedom struggle and move beyond earlier mass media visualizations of prominent personalities, national leaders and powerful elites. Through exhibitions, documentaries and print books, these photographs have done the important work of mediating visual images of the movement from corporate controlled print and televisual media with social documentary photography that offers more complicated and inclusive ideas about the past.30
The group of activist photographers who helped to create what we now have as social movement photography includes Danny Lyon, Bob Fletcher, Doris Derby, Julius Lester, Joffre Clark, Rufus Hinton, Norris McNamara, Mary Varela and others. Many of them worked for SNCC. But others like Bob Adelman, Brig Cabe, Bob Fitch and Elaine Tomlin worked for CORE, SCLC and the NAACP or independently. Overall the images captured by these photographers moved beyond the ideological and market-driven frames of corporate photo-journalism during the 1960s. Moreover, as Leigh Raiford discerns in her study on the photography produced by the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, documentary photography generated by SNCC and other activist photographers during the 1960s, served two important purposes. First, the images by these photographers helped to create a formidable, independent media structure that influenced the direction and course of the civil rights movement. Equally important, the images captured during that time period now provide cues and clues for contemporary audiences to better understand and incorporate the legacies and lessons of the of the 1960s freedom struggle, thus potentially bringing them closer to an understanding of Selma and the voting rights movement as a bridge and not a destination.31
Several photographs produced by Matt Herron, who was mentored by Dorothea Lange and came south in the early 1960s, are exemplary. Herron, who was never a formal member of SNCC, although his wife Jeanine worked in communications with Julian Bond in the Atlanta SNCC office, has explained how he worked in three different capacities during the 1960s: as a photojournalist on assignment in the South, as a movement photographer who sometimes covered demonstrations, marches and jailings, and as a social documentarian. As he explains in his article on the genesis of the Southern Documentary Project, Herron had a two-fold purpose when he worked in Alabama and Mississippi. The first was to assemble a team of photographers to capture southern society, black and white, in transition. The second was to visually document a manner of life, the essence of southern culture and southern institutions. He clarifies more specifically,
As a social activist I was probably looking at what was going on in a slightly different way… I had a conviction that what I was witnessing was history, that things which people saw as everyday events were special and unique.32
On the Selma to Montgomery march, Herron photographed what has become one of the most iconic images of the last of the three marches. Reflecting on how he spent five days walking backwards, Herron recalls that although he had already photographed people on the march line, he eventually realized that he had not captured marchers positioned against the horizon. So once the line moved into a rural area, he dropped into ditch and waited for the right moment. That frame, in which according to Herron, “every foot, every arm, every gesture is separately articulated,” has been used in exhibitions, print books, documentaries, and most recently by the National Park Service in a commemorative button.33
With two flags at the center of the composition, the visibly integrated line of marchers with several people at the front of the line pointing to an airplane overhead, the photograph may be interpreted as envisioning utopian democracy, justice and racial progress, an interpretation that would have most readily accepted in 1965. The image, however, also conveys motion, movement and transition, from the formally dressed black man in hat, suit and tie, to the black woman in a dress and heels, to the teenager in bib overalls. Moreover, as Herron explained at a March, 2015, exhibition of his work in Syracuse, all the motion seems to move toward the flags and up toward the single airplane in the sky, a government plane looking out for any ambush attempts by the Ku Klux Klan. As a visual representation of racial diversity and harmony, of collective movement and social action in particular place and time, Herron’s photograph, much like that of photojournalist, James Karales, is a “view from the trenches.” And in the context of Selma, the marches, the Voting Rights Act and its fiftieth commemoration, that view, metaphorically a view that includes repressed histories of marginalized groups, or the view from grassroots and working class citizens, has generated political and cultural meanings that have shifted over time and still remain in flux. Nevertheless, those meanings have become, as Leigh Raiford observes, integral to the processes of national, racial and political identity formation.34
Another iconic photograph from the Selma to Montgomery march, the one by James Karales, has been used recently by the NAACP’s Legal Defense Fund (LDF) as cover for a commemorative booklet entitled, “The Voting Rights Act @50.” In the Karales photograph, instead of an airplane overhead, there is a huge mass of dark clouds, a visual foreshadowing, perhaps, of the certain tragic events that would come after the end of the march. Inside the booklet, the opening essay cautions the reader that while it is useful to reflect on the tremendous progress toward equality made since the 1965 Voting Rights Act, it is perhaps more important to remember that the march toward equality in the United States still continues. The essay declares more specifically,
The work of advancing and protecting the right to vote is not self-executing. It requires our eternal vigilance. Indeed the U.S. Supreme Court’s devastating ruling in the 2013 Shelby County, Alabama v Holder, which struck a core provision of the Voting Rights Act and the recent assault on voting rights across our nation, are salient reminders of this reality.35
The booklet goes on to explain how the 2014 Voting Rights Amendment Act (VRAA) bill has been introduced to restore key provisions and protections to millions of voters who have been effectively disenfranchised by the Shelby County decision. For the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, as illustrated by both image and text, the geopolitical space of Selma may be seen as bridging the promise of the 1965 Voting Rights Act to the potential of the 2014 Voting Rights Amendment Act (VRAA) and as a call to end voter intimidation and voter suppression in the United States today.
Bailey, Richard. Neither Carpetbaggers Nor Scalawags: Black Officeholders during the Reconstruction of Alabama 1867-1878. Montgomery: Richard Bailey Publishers, 1997.
Beschloss, Michael. “Foote and Lincoln” in John Meacham (ed.), American Homer. New York: Random House, 2011.
Chestnut, J.L, Jr. and Julia Cass. Black in Selma: The Uncommon Life of J.L. Chestnut, Jr., New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 1990.
Clark, Thomas D. and Albert D. Kirwan. The South Since Appomattox: A Century of Regional Change. New York: Oxford University Press, 1967.
Cobb, Jelani. “A President and a King.” The New Yorker January 26, 2015. 21.
Crosby, Emilye. “Ten Things You Should Know About Selma Before You See the Film.” Zinn Education Project: Teaching People’s History. January 3 2015. http://zinnedproject.org/2015/01/selma-ten-things/ (consulted February 15, 2016).
Donovan, Susan Eva. Becoming Free in the Cotton South. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2007
Dower, John W. “Triumphal and Tragic Narratives of the War in Asia,” The Journal of American History (1995): 1124.
Du Bois, W.E.B. Black Reconstruction in America: An Essay Toward a History of the Part Which Black Folk Played in the Attempt to Reconstruct Democracy in America 1860-1880. New York: Atheneum, 1969.
Dwyer, Owen. “Interpreting the Civil Rights Movement: Place, Memory, Conflict.” Professional Geographer. 52: 4 (2000): 660-671.
Eagles, Charles W. Outside Agitator: Jon Daniels and the Civil Rights Movement in Alabama. Chapel Hill: The University of North Carolina Press, 1993.
Fitts, Aston, III. Selma: Queen City of the BlackBelt. Selma, Alabama: Clairmont Press,1989.
Franklin, John Hope. Mirror to America: The Autobiography of John Hope Franklin. New York: Farrar, Giroux and Strauss, 2005.
Garrow, David J. Protest at Selma: Martin Luther King, Jr and the Voting Rights Act of 1965. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1978.
Hartford, Bruce. The Selma Voting Rights Struggle and March to Montgomery. San Francisco: Westwind Writers, 2014.
Herron, Matt. “The Civil Rights Movement and the Southern Documentary Project.” In Witness in Our Time: Working Lives of Documentary Photographers, ed. Ken Light. Washington, D.C.: Smithsonian Books, 2000: 62-71.
Hulett, John. “How the Black Panther Party Was Organized.” In The Black Panther Party: Speech by John Hulett, Interview with Stokley Carmichael, Report from Lowndes County. New York: Merit Publishers, accessed February 14,2017 freedomarchives.org/Documents/…/513.LowndesCO.bpp.6.1966.pdf , ________Eyes on the Prize II Interviews, October 18, 1988. accessed August 21, 2016. http://digital.wustl.edu/e/eii/eiiweb/hul5427.0553.068marc_record_interviewee_process.html.
Jackson, Sharon. Images of America: Selma. Charleston South Carolina: Arcadia Publisher, 2014.
Jeffries, H.K. Bloody Lowndes: Civil Rights and Black Power in Alabama’s Black Belt. NewYork: New York University Press, 2009
Johnson, Lyndon B. "Special Message to the Congress: The American Promise," March 15, 1965. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project. http://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/ws/?pid=26805 (consulted June 21, 2016).
----, "Remarks in the Capitol Rotunda at the Signing of the Voting Rights Act.," August 6, 1965. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project. http://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/ws/?pid=27140 (consulted June 21, 2016).
Karlan, Pamela S. “The Alabama Foundations of the Law of Democracy,” Alabama Law Review 67, 2 (2016): 415-431.
King, Martin Luther, Jr. “Address at the Conclusion of the Selma to Montgomery March.” In A Call to Conscience: The Landmark Speeches of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.” ed. Clayborne Carson and Kris Shepard. New York: Grand Central Publishing, 2001.
----. “Address Delivered at a Meeting Launching the SCLC Crusade for Citizenship at Greater Bethel AME Church,” in The Papers of Martin Luther King, Jr., vol. 4, edited by Clayborne Carson, et.al. 376-371. Berkeley: University of California Press, 2000.
----.“Annual Report,” in Summary of Ninth Annual Convention, Southern Christian Leadership Conference, ed. Edward T. Clayton, Junius Griffin, Van Hall, August 11, 1965 at http://www.thekingcenter.org/archive/document/sclc-summary-ninth-annual-convention (consulted February 24, 2016)
Kirst, Sean. “Photographer Matt Herron, today at ArtRage: Iconic images of Selma—and why Tuesday marked his first ‘selfie,’” http://www.syracuse.com/kirst/index.ssf/2015/03/matt_herron_photographer_of_the_selma_march_today_at_artrage_an_iconic_image_and.html (consulted February 15, 2016).
Monteith, Sharon. “A Tale of Three Bridges: Pont Saint-Michel, Paris, 1961; Trefechan Bridge, Aberystwyth, Wales, 1963; Edmund Pettus Bridge, Selma, Alabama, 1965” in The Transatlantic Sixties: Europe and the United States in the Counterculture Decade, eds. Grzegorz Kosc, Clara Juncker, Sharon Monteith, Britta Waldschmidt-Nelson. Washington, DC: German Historical Institute, 2013: 283-312.
Morgan, Edward P. “ The Good, the Bad, the Forgotten: Media Culture and Public Memory of the Civil Rights Movement. In Renee C. Romano and Leigh Raiford, The Civil Rights Movement in American Memory. Athens: University of Georgia Press, 2006.
NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, “Selma: Defending Democracy in the 50th Anniversary Year of the Voting Rights Act.” at http://www.naacpldf.org/files/publications/The%20Voting%20Rights%20Act%20at%2050%20brochure.pdf (consulted February 24, 2016).
Nash, Diane. “LBJ Doesn’t Deserve Credit for Selma,” The New Journal and Guide. February 2, 2015 at http://www.crmvet.org/comm/selma-dn.htm (consulted February 15, 2016).
National Park Service, Selma-to-Montgomery National Historic Trail. “Tent City” https://www.nps.gov/semo/planyourvisit/brochures.htm (consulted April 25, 2016).
National Park Service, Selma-to-Montgomery National Historic Trail. “Foundation Document Overview Selma to Montgomery National Historic Trail.”
Oates, Stephen B. “Trumpet of Conscience: Martin Luther King, Jr.,” in Portrait of America, Vol II: From 1865 ed. Stephen Oates. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1999: 318-331.
Obama, Barack. “‘Remarks by the President at the 50th Anniversary of the Selma to Montgomery Marches,’ March 7, 2015 at https://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2015/03/07/remarks-president-50th-anniversary-selma-montgomery-marches (consulted February 15, 2016).
O’Dell, J.H. “ The Threshold of a New Reconstruction.” Freedomways: A Quarterly Review of the Negro Freedom Movement. 5: no 9 (1965): 495-508.
Raiford, Leigh. “’Come Let Us Build a New World Together’: SNCC and Photography of the Civil Rights Movement,” American Quarterly 59, 4 (2007): 1129-1157.
Remnick, David. The Bridge: The Life and Rise of Barack Obama. New York: Vintage Books, 2011.
Romano, Renee C. and Leigh Raiford, “The Struggle Over Memory,” In The Civil Rights Movement in American Memory. Athens: University of Georgia Press, 2006.
Schneider, William J. The Jon Daniels Story: with His Letters and Papers. New York: Seabury Press, 1967.
Southern Christian Leadership Conference. “Crusade for Citizenship” January 20, 1958 at http://www.crmvet.org/docs/5801_sclc_cfc.pdf (consulted February 24, 2016).
Stone, Donald. Fallen Prince: William James Edwards, Black Education, and the Quest for Afro-American Nationality. Snow Hill, Alabama: The Snow Hill Press, 1990.
Thornton, J.Mills III. Dividing Lines: Municipal Politics and the Struggle for Civil Rights in Montgomery, Birmingham and Selma. Tuscalossa: University of Alabama Press, 2002
Washington, Val J. “Republican National Committee News Release,” August 7, 1957, cicerosystems.com/history/unit/cold-war/content/1510/7886.
Wiggins, Sarah Woolfolk. The Scalawag in Alabama Politics, 1865-1881. Tuscaloosa: The University of Alabama Press, 1977.
Williamson, Joel. The Crucible of Race: Black-White Relations in the American South Since Emancipation. New York: Oxford University Press, 1984.
Selma to Montgomery March
1 Diane Nash, “LBJ Does Not Deserve Credit for Selma,” February 2, 2015 in The New Journal and Guide. http://www.crmvet.org/comm/selma-dn.htm (consulted February 15, 2016).Though generally recognized for her leadership in the Nashville student sit-ins and the 1960-61 Freedom Rides, Diane Nash is rarely acknowledged as one of the first field staff members for SNCC and SCLC. Recruited by Martin Luther King, Jr. because she functioned effectively as bridge leader between SCLC and SNCC, Nash made substantive contributions to movement strategies in Rock Hill, South Carolina, Albany, Georgia, Birmingham and Selma, Alabama.
2 Emilye Crosby, “Ten Things You Should Know About Selma Before You See the Film,” Zinn Education Project: Teaching People’s History, January 3, 2015. http://zinnedproject.org/2015/01/selma-ten-things (consulted February 15, 2016).
3 The phrase, “ bridge-of-becoming” is used by Jack O’Dell, “The Threshold of a New Reconstruction,” Freedomways: A Quarterly Review of the Negro Freedom Movement, 5, no. 9 (1965): 507. Historian Stephen B. Oates, in the essay, “Trumpet of Conscience: Martin Luther King, Jr.,” inPortrait of America, Vol II: From 1865 ed. Stephen Oates (Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1999), 318-331, identifies the Selma campaign as the civil rights movement “finest hour.” Accessed April 21, 2016. Wikibenn.pbworks.com/w/file/fetch/68346244/Oates%20-%20Trumpet%20of%20Conscience%20%-%20MLK.pdf. David J. Garrow, in Protest at Selma: Martin Luther King, Jr and the Voting Rights Act of 1965 (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1978), 231, makes a similar assessment, writing that Selma marked both the end and the “culmination…of the movement’s successful employment of direct action tactics.” President Barack Obama identifies Selma as a site at which “the nation’s destiny” was decided in his speech at the fiftieth anniversary Jubilee celebration in Selma in March, 2015. “Remarks by the President at the 50th Anniversary of the Selma to Montgomery Marches,” March 7, 2015 at https://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2015/03/07/remarks-president-50th-anniversary-selma-montgomery-marches (consulted February 15, 2016)..
4 Pamela S. Karlan, “The Alabama Foundations of the Law of Democracy,” Alabama Law Review 67,no.2 (2016): 415-431, accessed March 1, 2016, Karlan proposes that the Edmund Pettus Bridge is “the most famous bridge in American constitutional history, “ 415. In the speech he made at the conclusion of Selma to Montgomery march, Martin Luther King, Jr., explained how the nonviolence, sacrifices and determination of the civil rights struggle, particularly in Birmingham and Selma, had stirred the conscience of the nation. He concludes the speech with the vision of a society able to live with its conscience.
5 In Images of America: Selma (Charleston, South Carolina: Arcadia Publishers, 2014), 11, Sharon Jackson titles her first chapter, “The Early Years of the Queen City.” The 1989 publication commissioned by the Selma City Council and written by Aston Fitts III, former Director of Information for the Edmundite Southern Mission, is also entitled, Selma: Queen City of the BlackBelt (Selma, Alabama: Clairmont Press,1989).
6 Michael Beschloss, “Foote and Lincoln” in John Meacham (ed.), American Homer (New York: Random House, 2011), 11.
7 See Richard Bailey’s Neither Carpetbaggers Nor Scalawags: Black Officeholders during the Reconstruction of Alabama 1867-1878 (Montgomery: Richard Bailey Publishers, 1997): 311-315. See also Sarah Woolfolk Wiggins, The Scalawag in Alabama Politics, 1865-1881 (Tuscaloosa: The University of Alabama Press, 1977): 63, 139. From Dallas County, Richard Bailey identifies two African Americans, Jordan Hatcher and Alfred Strother, as participants in the 1867 Alabama Constitutional Convention. The thirteen African Americans from Dallas County who held state office were Joseph Drawn, Spencer Weaver, Henry A. Cochran, Edward Gee, R.L. Johnson, Jeremiah Haralson, Joseph H. Goldsby, Thomas H. Walker, William H. Blevins, Charles E. Harris, Jacob Martin, Green T. Johnson and William J. Stevens. Without identifying officeholders by name, J.L. Chestnut, Jr. and Julia Cass, Black in Selma: The Uncommon Life of J.L. Chestnut, Jr. (New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 1990), 5 also provide information on African American elected officials in Selma and Dallas County during Reconstruction; O’Dell, 497.
8 Donald Stone’s Fallen Prince: William James Edwards, Black Education, and the Quest for Afro-American Nationality (Snow Hill, Alabama: The Snow Hill Press, 1990), 44-45. Interpretations of the era of Reconstruction in U.S. historical development have been varying. Just two years after the Voting Rights Act, Thomas D. Clark and Albert D. Kirwan published The South Since Appomattox: A Century of Regional Change (New York: Oxford University Press, 1967) which offers an incomplete and traditionally partisan perspective on Reconstruction. Joel Williamson’s The Crucible of Race: Black-White Relations in the American South Since Emancipation ( New York: Oxford University Press, 1984), examining Reconstruction within the wider context of U.S. race relations, offers a more original interpretation. W.E.B. Du Bois’ Black Reconstruction in America: An Essay Toward a History of the Part Which Black Folk Played in the Attempt to Reconstruct Democracy in America 1860-1880 (New York: Atheneum, 1969) first published in 1935, remains foundational scholarship for the period. In his study of the role of municiple politics in Alabama’s civil rights history, J. Mills Thornton III devotes considerable attention to the “white leagures” and the singular, statewide role of Selma’s White Citizens Council during the the 1950s and 1960s. See J.Mills Thornton III, Dividing Lines: Municiple Politics and the Struggle for Civil Rights in Montgomery, Birmingham and Selma (Tuscaloosa: University of Alabama Press, 2002), 392-499.
9 Jack O’Dell, “Threshold of a New Reconstruction,” 496-497. The arc of violence and terror in the Georgia black belt, marked most notably by the 1868 Camilla massacre, is chronicled by Susan Eva Donovan, Becoming Free in the Cotton South (Cambridge: Harvard University Press), 261-263. H.K. Jeffries uses the “bleak assessment” made by W.E.B. DuBois, who actually lived in Lowndes County in 1906, to describe early twentieth-century manifestations of violence and terror in the county. “’The white element was lawless,’explained DuBois, ‘and up until recent times the body of a dead Negro did not even call for an arrest.’” H.K. Jeffries, Bloody Lowndes: Civil Rights an Black Power in Alabama’s Black Belt (New York: New York University Press, 200), 9.
11 Martin Luther King, Jr., “Address Delivered at a Meeting Launching the SCLC Crusade for Citizenship at Greater Bethel AME Church,” in The Papers of Martin Luther King, Jr., vol. 4, edited by Clayborne Carson, et.al.(Berkeley: University of California Press, 2000), 367-371.
12 Val J. Washington, “Republican National Committee News Release,” August 7, 1957, cicerosystems.com/history/unit/cold-war/content/1510/7886.
13 Lyndon B. Johnson: "Special Message to the Congress: The American Promise," March 15, 1965. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project. http://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/ws/?pid=26805 (consulted June 21, 2016); idem., "Remarks in the Capitol Rotunda at the Signing of the Voting Rights Act.," August 6, 1965. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project. http://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/ws/?pid=27140 (consulted June 21, 2016).
14 O’Dell, 495-496.
17 Renee C. Romano and Leigh Raiford, ed, “Introduction: The Struggle Over Memory,” in The Civil Rights Movement in American Memory (Athens: University of Georgia Press, 2006), xvii.
18 I am grateful to Patricia Davis, author of Laying Claim: African American Cultural Memory and Southern Identity, for sharing her insights on narratives of triumph. I want to also express appreciation to Vera Rorie who provided very useful 50th Commemoration material on Selma.
19 Jelani Cobb, “A President and a King,” The New Yorker, January 26, 2015, 21.
20 This perspective derives in part from theorizing by Sharon Monteith, “A Tale of Three Bridges: Pont Saint-Michel, Paris, 1961; Trefechan Bridge, Aberystwyth, Wales, 1963; Edmund Pettus Bridge, Selma, Alabama, 1965” in The Transatlantic Sixties: Europe and the United States in the Counterculture Decade, eds. Grzegorz Kosc, Clara Juncker, Sharon Monteith, Britta Waldschmidt-Nelson (Washington, DC: German Historical Institute), 283. Monteith notes that the bridge in all three sits, “…as an arc of history and cultural memory, drawing the separate episodes together in a shared perception of social justice.”
21 “Remarks by the President at the 50th Anniversary of the Selma to Montgomery Marches,” March 7, 2015 at https://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2015/03/07/remarks-president-50th-anniversary-selma-montgomery-marches (consulted February 15, 2016).
22 Edward P. Morgan, “The Good, the Bad, the Forgotten: Media Culture and Public Memory of the Civil Rights Movement,” in The Civil Rights Movement in American Memory, ed. Renee C. Romano and Leigh Raiford (Athens: University of Georgia Press, 2006): 153.
23 David Remnick.The Bridge: The Life and Rise of Barack Obama (New York: Vintage Books, 2011), 575.
24 John W. Dower, “Triumphal and Tragic Narratives of the War in Asia,” The Journal of American History (December 1995): 1124.
25 Martin Luther King, Jr., “Annual Report,” in Summary of Ninth Annual Convention, Southern Christian Leadership Conference, ed. Edward T. Clayton, Junius Griffin, Van Hall, August 11, 1965 at http://www.thekingcenter.org/archive/document/sclc-summary-ninth-annual-convention (consulted Februar 24, 2016). Juanita Terry Willliams, wife of Hosea Williams was among the participants in the march and completed a master’s thesis on the Selma to Montgomery march soon after her participation.
26 John Hope Franklin, Mirror to America: The Autobiography of John Hope Franklin. (NY: Farrar, Giroux and Strauss, 2005): 237-239.
27 See William J. Schneider, The Jon Daniels Story: with His Letters and Papers. New York: Seabury Press, 1967). The definitive treatment of the Jonathan Daniels story is Charles W. Eagles, Outside Agitator: Jon Daniels and the Civil Rights Movement in Alabama, Chapel Hill: The University of North Carolina Press, 1993).
28 John Hulett who was Chairman of the Lowndes County Freedom Organization (LCFO) provides brief, first-hand information on the eviction of sharecropping farmers in Lowndes County and the creation of Tent City. See Hulett, John, “How the Black Panther Party Was Organized,” The Black Panther Party: Speech by John Hulett, Interview with Stokley Carmichael, Report from Lowndes County (New York, Merit Publishers),14-15, accessed February 14,2017 freedomarchives.org/Documents/…/513.LowndesCO.bpp.6.1966.pdf See also Interview with John Hulett, Eyes on the Prize II Interviews, October 18, 1988. accessed August 21, 2016. Brochure, “Tent City,” National Park Service, Selma-to-Montgomery National Historic Trail. In addition to the main brochure for the National Historic Trail, the site includes twelve additional shorter brochures https://www.nps.gov/semo/planyourvisit/brochures.htm (consulted April 25, 2016). For information on literacy tests, see Bruce Hartford, The Selma Voting Rights Struggle and March to Montgomery (San Francisco: Westwind Writers, 2014), 175-188.
29 National Park Service, Selma-to-Montgomery National Historic Trail. “Foundation Document Overview Selma to Montgomery National Historic Trail.” Print.
30 See Owen Dwyer, “Interpreting the Civil Rights Movement: Place, Memory, and Conflict,” Professional Geographer 52:4 (November 2000): 660-671. See also Leigh Raiford, “‘Come Let Us Build a New World Together’: SNCC and Photography of the Civil Rights Movement,” American Quarterly 59 no 4 (2007): 1129-1156.
31 Raiford, “’Come Let Us Build a New World Together’: SNCC and Photography of the Civil Rights Movement”: 1133.
32 Sean Kirst, “Photographer Matt Herron, today at ArtRage: Iconic images of Selma—and why Tuesday marked his first ‘selfie,’” http://www.syracuse.com/kirst/index.ssf/2015/03/matt_herron_photographer_of_the_selma_march_today_at_artrage_an_iconic_image_and.html (consulted February 15, 2016); Matt Herron, “ The Civil Rights Movement and the Southern Documentary Project,” in Witness in Our Time: Working Lives of Documentary Photographers, ed. Ken Light ( Washington, D.C.: Smithsonian Books, 2000), 64.
33 Kirst, “Photographer Matt Herron, today at ArtRage: Iconic images of Selma—and why Tuesday marked his first ‘selfie’”.
34 Leigh Raiford, “’Come Let Us Build a New World Together’”, 1130.
35 NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, “Selma: Defending Democracy in the 50th Anniversary Year of the Voting Rights Act,” 1 at http://www.naacpldf.org/files/publications/The%20Voting%20Rights%20Act%20at%2050%20brochure.pdf (consulted February 24, 2016).
Copyright © Alma Jean Billingslea Brown
Copyright to this web page, as a web page, belongs to this web site.
Copyright to the article above belongs to the author.