facebook linkedin twitter

Project Aims to ID Voting Rights Marchers of ‘Bloody Sunday’

October 4, 2021by AP Staff Report
Project Aims to ID Voting Rights Marchers of ‘Bloody Sunday’
In this March 7, 1965, file photo, civil rights demonstrators struggle on the ground as state troopers break up a march in Selma, Ala. (AP Photo/File)

SELMA, Ala. (AP) — The world knows the names of John Lewis and a few more of the voting rights demonstrators who walked across Selma’s Edmund Pettus Bridge in 1965 only to be attacked by Alabama state troopers on a day that came to be called “Bloody Sunday.” A new project aims to identify more of the hundreds of people who were involved in the protest.

Auburn University professors Richard Burt and Keith Hebert, working with a group of honors college students, have established a Facebook page where people can look through photographs of March 7, 1965, and identify themselves or others in the black-and-white images.

Online since August, the page is titled “Help us identify the Selma Bloody Sunday Foot Soldiers.” It features multiple images of marchers who are labeled with red numerals, and users can add the names of people they recognize in the comments section. 

Some people already have been identified, and the creators hope more will be as word spreads about the page, particularly in Selma, where the effort is being promoted. A class at Selma High School is helping as students enlist relatives to help identify marchers.


The project “highlights the need for additional historical research and documentation for one of the most famous moments in American history,” Hebert said in a statement released by the university announcing the work.


“By taking a fresh look at Bloody Sunday, our research has revealed rich details about how the march unfolded that prior historians have overlooked. We intend to help those in Selma who want to do more to preserve and interpret the historic landscapes connected to this seminal event,” he said.

Lewis, Hosea Williams, Amelia Boynton, Marie Foster and other established activists were at the front of a line of hundreds of marchers when the column crossed the bridge over the Alabama River bound for Montgomery. They were savagely beaten by troopers and members of the Dallas County sheriff’s posse; images of the violence helped build support for voting rights across the segregated South.

Lewis, a native of Alabama who died last year, went on to serve multiple terms in Congress representing the Atlanta area. But many of the marchers have never been publicly identified, an omission the project could help resolve.


As marchers are identified, they get messages through the social media platform offering the chance to share their stories in the future. Hebert said students are learning how to communicate with diverse groups as they collect information about one of the best-known events of the civil rights movement.

“Those learning opportunities will bode well for their future career endeavors as they help America build a diverse, inclusive and equitable society,” he said.

A+
a-

In The News

Health

Voting

Civil Rights

May 19, 2022
by Dan McCue
Oklahoma Bans Nearly All Abortions After Fertilization

OKLAHOMA CITY — The Oklahoma Legislature on Thursday passed the nation’s strictest abortion law to date, banning almost all abortions... Read More

OKLAHOMA CITY — The Oklahoma Legislature on Thursday passed the nation’s strictest abortion law to date, banning almost all abortions from the moment of conception. The bill itself was modeled on a law that took effect in Texas in September. Like the Texas law, it relies... Read More

May 18, 2022
by Tom Ramstack
A Potential Federal Law on Abortion Divides Witnesses Before Congress

WASHINGTON — Abortion supporters and detractors made impassioned pleas before a congressional committee Wednesday while invoking constitutional rights or Biblical... Read More

WASHINGTON — Abortion supporters and detractors made impassioned pleas before a congressional committee Wednesday while invoking constitutional rights or Biblical teachings. The House Judiciary Committee is considering one of several proposals in Congress on whether to enact a federal law to guarantee women’s rights to abortion.... Read More

May 14, 2022
by Alexa Hornbeck
Health Care Organizations Rally for Abortion Rights in DC

WASHINGTON — Thousands of protestors gathered on Saturday to march for abortion rights from the Washington Monument to the Supreme... Read More

WASHINGTON — Thousands of protestors gathered on Saturday to march for abortion rights from the Washington Monument to the Supreme Court building. The rally, called "Bans Off Our Bodies" was arranged by health organizations and advocates from across the country, such as Planned Parenthood, the American... Read More

May 13, 2022
by Reece Nations
Texas Supreme Court Rules to Allow Trans Abuse Inquiries 

AUSTIN, Texas — The Texas Supreme Court ruled unanimously on Friday that the state child welfare agency can continue investigating... Read More

AUSTIN, Texas — The Texas Supreme Court ruled unanimously on Friday that the state child welfare agency can continue investigating parents and doctors who provide gender-affirming care for transgender youth. Gov. Greg Abbott’s February directive to the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services compelled the... Read More

May 11, 2022
by Dan McCue
Democrats’ Effort to Secure Abortion Rights Falls to Filibuster

WASHINGTON — The fact that defeat was in the bag didn’t reduce the sting for Senate Democrats who failed to... Read More

WASHINGTON — The fact that defeat was in the bag didn’t reduce the sting for Senate Democrats who failed to pass legislation Wednesday that would have enshrined abortion rights into federal law and circumvented the Supreme Court’s anticipated overturning of Roe v. Wade. In the end,... Read More

May 11, 2022
by Dan McCue
If Roe Falls, What Civil Rights Precedents Might Be Next?

WASHINGTON — James Obergefell, who was in the nation’s capital this week to attend a fundraiser and visit with friends,... Read More

WASHINGTON — James Obergefell, who was in the nation’s capital this week to attend a fundraiser and visit with friends, wears the mantle of a civil rights icon lightly. Warm, often funny, and intelligent, the plaintiff in Obergefell v. Hodges, the landmark civil rights case in... Read More

News From The Well
scroll top