Local Students to Commemorate Historic Selma March

selmamontgomeryDALLAS, TX – State Senator Royce West (D-Dallas) has called together students from more than 20 student government and youth organizations across Dallas County to reenact the historic march that took place 50 years ago on Saturday March 21, 1965 in Selma, Alabama in protest of restrictive voting laws. The tribute to those who fought for voting rights legislation will take place Saturday, March 21, 2015, on the Continental Avenue Pedestrian Bridge, located at 101-115 Continental Avenue, west of downtown Dallas. The march will begin at 1:00 p.m.
“It can seem that today’s youth are far removed from what young people, both Black and White, were involved in across the South some 50 years ago,” said Senator West. “But we as adults, as leaders and parents and as beneficiaries, many who were alive in 1965, cannot allow those efforts to be confined to video images and history books. They happened and those sacrifices helped pave the way for the passage of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 that replaced, for the better, a patchwork of laws across a number of mostly Southern states that restricted the ability of minority citizens in this country to cast ballots for their candidates of choice.
“Now 50 years later, we are faced with new challenges to the right to vote, but the biggest obstacle we face may be that of voter apathy,” Senator West added. “It’s time for a new generation to become involved.”
Students will symbolically reenact the successful March 21, 1965 march from Selma, (Dallas County, Alabama) to the state capitol in Montgomery. It was the third attempt following the first march, now called “Bloody Sunday,” two weeks earlier when state and local lawmen attacked peaceful demonstrators. The 54-mile march was successfully completed under a federal court order and the protection of some 4,000 federal troops and state police. President Lyndon Johnson signed the Voting Rights Act into law less than five months later. Following this year’s commemorative march, students will discuss their thoughts about what happened in 1965 and how it impacts America today.
Schools from Dallas, DeSoto, Duncanville and Cedar Hill will participate including middle schools Curstistene McCowan, DeSoto East, Permenter, Barack Obama, Seagoville and the St. Philip’s School and Community Center. High schools include Madison, Skyline, West Mesquite, A. Maceo Smith, Sunset, Pinkston, MacArthur, Lassiter Early College High School at El Centro, Harmony School of Science and Nature-Grand Prairie, Collegiate Institute, DeSoto – Freshman Campus, Duncanville and Lancaster. Youth groups taking part in the march include South Oak Cliff High’s Mayor’s Rising Star Council, Circle 10 Boy Scouts of America, and the Boys and Girls Club of Arlington.