Why did civil rights leaders choose to focus their protests against voter discrimination in Selma, Alabama?

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pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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There are two major factors that contributed to Selma being chosen as the location for the protest.  First, there was the fact that there was a strong black organization in that town.  There were black leaders in Selma who had been pushing for voting rights for a long time and who had organized the black community.  Second, there was the fact that the white leaders could be counted on to resist, perhaps rather violently.  Sheriff Jim Clark was seen as a person who was likely to be fairly brutal in suppressing the protestors.  Black leaders felt this was a good thing because such tactics on Clark's part would gain better publicity for the movement, getting more people around the country to support civil rights.

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