The Right To Vote In Selma

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The right to vote in the United States is a fundamental right for all of the citizens. However, for African American citizens, that fundamental right was being taken away from them, despite previous constitutional amendments. Over the course of five months, African Americans fought peacefully for their right to vote. By marching from Selma to Montgomery, African Americans pathed the way to the establishment of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, which then allowed them to exercise their voting rights. The beginning of the fight for voting rights began in February of 1965. Due to only one percent of African Americans being able to vote in Selma in 1965, protests broke out across Selma, Alabama and Marion, Alabama, (Digital History, “Voting Rights”).…show more content…
On March 21st 1965, 3,200 demonstrators were led by Martin Luther King Jr. towards the state capitol building in Montgomery. The trek from Selma to Montgomery is fifty-four miles long. The marchers slept wherever they happened to be at that point in time. When they finally reached Montgomery, Martin Luther King spoke to a crowd of 25,000 people that was broadcasted across the country. He stated, “The confrontation of good and evil compressed in the tiny community of Selma generated the massive power to turn the whole nation to a new course,” (“Address at the Conclusion of the Selma to Montgomery March”). Martin Luther King Jr. ends his speech asking the audience, “How long? Not long, because the arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends towards justice. How long? Not long, because… His [God’s] truth is marching on,” (“Address at the conclusion of the Selma to Montgomery…show more content…
The Voting Rights Act was usually ignored, especially in the south. On the brightside, if the Voting Rights Act was ignored or not enforced properly, it was easier for African Americans to legally challenge voting restrictions that were still being enforced. This also helped increase voter turnout among African Americans. For example, in the primary that happened in May of 1966, 122,000 African Americans registered to vote in Alabama. That is twenty-five percent of the all of the voters in Alabama, (History, “Selma to Montgomery march begins”). This is significant because before the Voting Rights Act was passed, only one percent of Alabama’s voting population consisted of African Americans. Establishing the Voting Rights Act of 1965, resulted in a significant increase in voter turnout among African
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