The Relevance of 'Selma' Today

January 8, 2015 5:45 PM

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The movie Selma, which opens in theaters nationwide this weekend, provides a depiction of one of the most pivotal points in the civil rights movement of the 1960s. The events that occurred in Selma, Alabama in the early part of 1965, particularly Bloody Sunday on March 7, led to the passage of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 later on in that year. The movie explores many facets of the Selma campaign including the relationship between Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and President Lyndon B. Johnson, interaction among different segments of the social justice movement, the fierce resistance by state and local officials to the opening up the ballot box to all races, King family dynamics, brutal beatings, and more.

One of the most significant features of the movie as it relates to present day America are the many barriers that were put forth to block people from exercising their right to vote such as poll taxes, ridiculous qualification tests, literacy exams, morality requirements, property ownership requireme...

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