~~January 20, 2015~~
I was born in Puerto Rico, a tiny island in the Caribbean,a commonwealth (“colony”) of the United States since the early 50’s. I was raised and lived there until my adult life. At the height of the Civil Rights Movement I was in my early teens. I must confess that I wasn’t aware of the events the country was going through.
Of course, I remember when JFK was shot and killed as well as when the same happened to Martin Luther King, Jr.
What I didn’t experience first hand is all that I have learned through time and reviewing historical data. Race in my country wasn’t that big of a deal because we are all a mixture of Spanish, African and Taino blood and ancestry.
I can’t begin to fathom what the “American Negro“, now called African American, went through. One would like to think that after the Civil Rights Movement advances, the differences between races were resolved. Some current events like Ferguson confirm that this isn’t the case. This movie portrays history in a real, touching, deeply inspiring and eye-opening way.
Sad to see our current reality.
Selma is a 2014 American historical drama film directed by Ava DuVernay and written by Paul Webb and Ava DuVernay. It is based on the 1965 Selma to Montgomery voting rights marches led by James Bevel, Hosea Williams, and Martin Luther King, Jr. of SCLC and John Lewis of SNCC. The film stars David Oyelowo as King, Tom Wilkinson as President Lyndon Johnson, Common as James Bevel, Tim Roth as George Wallace, and Carmen Ejogo as Coretta Scott King.
Selma had four Golden Globe Award nominations, including Best Motion Picture – Drama, Best Director, and Best Actor, and won for Best Original Song. It is also nominated for Best Picture and Best Original Song at the 87th Academy Awards.
In 1964, Alabama, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. is practicing a speech in front of the mirror. He stops to call in his wife Coretta Scott to comment on his tie, feeling it makes him look undignified in the face of those he is set to honor. Coretta fixes her husband’s tie and assures him he looks fine. The couple then goes to a ceremony where King accepts the Nobel Peace Prize and recites his speech. Four young girls are walking down the steps at the 16th Street Baptist Church. They are talking about the way they do their hair when an explosion goes off, killing all the girls. Annie Lee Cooper fills out a form to become a registered voter. The white registrar asks her how many county judges are in Alabama. She says there are 67, but the registrar tells her to name them all. When she cannot, he denies her application.
King meets with President Lyndon B. Johnson and his adviser Lee C. White over the issue of black citizens not being allowed to register for voting. King acknowledges that the whites are illegally denying the registration forms of the black community, while also pointing out the senseless acts of violence against them, including the church bombing. What King and his group seek is federal legislation for black citizens to register for voting unencumbered. Johnson, however, is more concerned about getting rid of poverty in the country.
King travels to Selma, Alabama with Ralph Abernathy, Andrew Young, James Orange, and Diane Nash. They meet with Reverend James Bevel and other civil rights activists of the group SCLC (Southern Christian Leadership Conference) like Hosea Williams and Amelia Boynton at a hotel. As King is signing in, a young white man approaches him and socks King in the mouth. Johnson talks to J. Edgar Hoover about the incident. Hoover thinks King is becoming a problem, and he suggests to cause friction at home to weaken the dynamic, knowing there is tension between King and his wife. King goes home. Coretta shows reservations over her husband’s actions and concern for her family’s well-being. At night, King calls Mahalia Jackson to help him reach out and hear the Lord’s voice.
King speaks before a congregation of other civil rights activists and hopeful voters to rouse up their spirits and assure them that they will not let their oppressors keep them from reaching their goal. Their plan is to march from Selma to Montgomery, and their actions will be non-violent, despite knowing that the authorities would not hesitate to utilize violence against them.
King and his followers march through Selma before a crowd of white folks and the ruthless Sheriff Jim Clark. The marchers kneel down and put their hands on the back of their heads. One man fails to kneel as his wife and son help him. Clark and his cohorts go over to them and try to force the man down. When his son defends his father, Clark nearly strikes him with his club, until Annie hits Clark and knocks him down. In retaliation, Clark and his goons force Annie to the ground. King and many of his followers are subsequently arrested and incarcerated.
Eventually, the activists all gather for the final march to Montgomery. This is juxtaposed with actual footage of the real life marches. King delivers one more speech about how the black citizens are equal to the white citizens.
~As he continues his speech, we see some text on the film’s real life counterparts~
Andrew Young was appointed UN Ambassador under President Carter after serving three terms in Congress, and was later elected mayor of Atlanta for two terms
George Wallace unsuccessfully ran for president four times and was paralyzed by an assassination attempt in 1972
Sheriff Jim Clark was defeated by an overwhelming black vote and was never sheriff again
Viola Liuzzo was murdered by a Klansman hours after the march while trying to escort marchers back to Selma
Coretta Scott King established The King Center and successfully lobbied for a holiday in her husband’s honor. She never remarried
Five months later, Lyndon Johnson signed the Voting Rights Act of 1965 with Martin Luther King, Jr. at his side. King would go on to lead the American civil rights movement for 13 years through nonviolence until his assassination in 1968. He was 39 years old.
King concludes his speech by saying that freedom is coming closer thanks to the grace of the Lord.
“As it appears in …. full read”
~~SELMA MARCH GALLERY~~
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#WeAllAreOne #ItIsWhatItIs #DrRex #hrexachwordpress
~Selma Official Trailer~
~~Published on Nov 7, 2014~~
“SELMA” is the story of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s historic struggle to secure voting rights for all people – a dangerous and terrifying campaign that culminated with the epic march from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama, and led to President Johnson signing the Voting Rights Act of 1965.
We ALL are ONE!!