"A Place of Pain, a Place of Hope: Selma" Selma by calcaf38

Selma Travel Guide: 40 reviews and 111 photos

Selma is a town which, at first glance, is indistinguishable from many others. During my trip, I drove through several places, such as Hattiesburg and Aberdeen (in Mississippi), with a similar "feel."

However, one of the most inspiring movements in the history of mankind started in Selma. Back in 1965, Selma was a segregated town, more than half black, but where only 1% of registered voters were black. This untenable situation had been simmering for many years, and coming to a full boil.

On March 7, 1965, "Bloody Sunday," a few hundred peaceful protesters left from the Brown Chapel A.M.E. Church in Selma on their way to Montgomery, the State Capital. At the Edmund Pettus Bridge, they were attacked by state troopers using tear gas, high pressure water hoses and billy clubs. Images from the brutal attack appalled the whole country and the world.

Two days later, Martin Luther King led a symbolic march to the bridge, to demonstrate that such an action was, indeed, legal.

On March 21, 3,000 marchers left Selma, and there were 25,000 of them by the time they reached Montgomery four days later. This was one of the key events that led to the passing of the Voting Rights Act of 1965.

Of course, a town cannot market itself around its history of violence, intolerance and division. Selma offers overwhelming memories, the iconic Edmund Pettus Bridge - which can appear like the ugliest or like the most beautiful structure at a moment's notice - a couple of significant churches, and a few historical markers. Not much else. In order to truly grasp the scope of the 1965 events, you need to visit the Lowndes County Interpretive Center, halfway between Selma and Montgomery.

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:Immense significance for humanity
  • Cons:Somewhat desolate
  • In a nutshell:Enter a place of true legend
  • Last visit to Selma: Jul 2010
  • Intro Updated Aug 7, 2010
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Reviews (7)

Comments (2)

  • toonsarah's Profile Photo
    May 10, 2011 at 11:07 AM

    That sounds like an excellent museum - a shame it isn't better known or more visited.

  • Bwana_Brown's Profile Photo
    Aug 31, 2010 at 11:50 AM

    Old Cahawba looks like quite an interesting place, somewhere I would enjoy poking about too. Great tips on the Civil Rights movement in and around Selma. I well remember those events on the news in my teenage years!


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