Martin Luther King, Jr., Leads a March from Selma to Montgomery (Great Events from History II: Human Rights Series)
Article abstract: The march from Selma to Montgomery was a significant factor in the passage of the 1965 Voting Rights Act and marked a new and increased in civil rights reform upon political and economic issues.
Summary of Event
The Selma to Montgomery March of 1965 is often viewed as one of the most decisive events in the history of the American Civil Rights movement. It was marked by considerable violent resistance, a high degree of emotional intensity for those who participated, and political impact not often matched. Its basic purpose was to extend voting rights to black Americans in a period when many southern white leaders adamantly resisted broadening the franchise. The Civil Rights Act signed by President Lyndon B. Johnson on July 2, 1964, did contain provisions for minority voting rights. Its eleven titles spanned the spectrum of basic rights, including equal access to public accommodations, schools, and employment. Title VI gave the federal government the power to cut off funds from state or local authorities that discriminated, but there was little increased authority in the voting rights provisions of Title I. Nor was it certain that any of the desegregation mandates would be respected in the Deep South. Although Selma was a small city in an essentially rural part of Alabama, it was in the highly segregated Dallas County region that some civil rights leaders believed would be a good place to launch a...
(The entire section is 2424 words.)
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