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Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Remembering the martyrs of Bloody Sunday



Now, isn't that interesting: did our very great "unifier" even mention these martyrs, and their color? Indeed, this is a "black only" commemoration, and with those two pesky whites in the mix, the memorial would just not look "black enough!" 

I am willing to bet, the great majority of blacks know not this history!

Not convenient to know, no doubt! 

And, most of them thrive on being ignorant!

Remembering the martyrs of Bloody Sunday

 Jimmie Lee Jackson
Jackson, 26, was an Army veteran and father of one living in Marion in 1965. A deacon at St. James Baptist Church, he was active in the Perry County efforts to register blacks to vote. He had himself attempted to register to vote, but had not been allowed to.
On Feb. 18, 1965, about 200 civil rights protesters held a rare nighttime march in Marion. As marchers made their way to the Perry County Jail, the city's streetlights suddenly went out. Marion police officers, along with Perry County Sheriff's deputies and Alabama State Troopers, began beating the marchers.
Jackson and other marchers sought refuge in Mack's Cafe, along with Jackson's mother, Viola Jackson, and grandfather, Cager Lee. Witnesses say troopers entered the restaurant and began beating those inside. Jackson was shot in the stomach as he tried to protect his relatives.
Jackson died eight days later from an infection at the Good Samaritan Hospital in Selma, in neighboring Dallas County. The Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. spoke at Jackson's funeral.
It was Jackson's death that led several civil rights leaders to call for a voting rights march from Selma to Montgomery. That march occurred March 7, 1965, a date better known as Bloody Sunday. About 600 people tried to march to Montgomery before being beaten back at the foot of the Edmund Pettus Bridge by troopers and mounted possemen of the Dallas County Sheriff's Office.
On March 9, led by King, the group marched peacefully to the bridge but then turned back.
On March 21, 1965, about 3,100 marchers left Selma again. This time they made it to Montgomery four days later, their ranks swelled to about 25,000.

The Rev. James Reeb
Reeb, 38, a white Unitarian Universalist minister from Boston, was among hundreds of clergymen from across the country who heeded the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.'s call to come to Selma in the wake of Bloody Sunday. On March 9, 1965, Reeb, a father of four, had just eaten supper at Walker's Cafe with a group of other ministers. Walker's Cafe was a "colored" cafe, to use the segregation-era term, but had recently begun serving white customers.
As the ministers were walking back to Brown Chapel AME Church, which served as the center of the Selma movement, a group of four white men approached them from behind. Reeb was struck in the head by a club or pipe. He died March 11, 1965, in a Birmingham hospital. Reeb was eulogized by King, and his death was referenced by President Lyndon Johnson in his efforts to get the Voting Rights Act of 1965 passed by Congress.
Three white men were indicted in Reeb's murder, but were later acquitted.

Viola Gregg Liuzzo
Liuzzo, 39, a white Detroit mother of five, drove to Selma after Bloody Sunday to become involved with the Selma movement. She was active in the transportation arm, driving marchers and protesters around Selma.
Following the successful conclusion of the Selma-to-Montgomery march, she was ferrying marchers from Montgomery back to Selma. At the time a white woman driving a car carrying black men was a risky proposition. On the night of March 25, 1965, she was driving with 19-year-old Leroy Moton as a passenger.
On a secluded stretch of U.S. 80 in rural Lowndes County, a car carrying four white men, suspected members of the Ku Klux Klan, began chasing her car. She tried to speed away, but the other car caught up, and the occupants opened fire. Liuzzo was shot in the head and killed. Moton was injured, but recovered.
One of the occupants of the car chasing Liuzzo's was Gary Thomas Rowe Jr., an FBI informant.
The other three occupants of the vehicle were found not guilty of her murder in state court. Those men were later charged and convicted of violating Liuzzo's civil rights in federal court. They were given sentences of 10 years each.
Rowe, who died in 1998, was never prosecuted in the Liuzzo case.



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