PHOTO: Edmund Pettus Bridge, March 2015
President Biden heads to Selma, Alabama on Sunday to commemorate Bloody Sunday’s 58-year mark.
“In his remarks President Biden will talk about the importance of commemorating Bloody Sunday so that history cannot be erased,” White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said during her daily briefing on Friday. “He will highlight how the continued fight for voting rights is integral in delivering justice and civil rights for Black Americans.”
The visit to Selma will be Biden’s first as President. In 2021, the “Selma Jubilee” went virtual due to the COVID-19 pandemic. And last year, Vice President Harris took part in the annual march across the Edmund Pettus Bridge that recalls a key moment in the struggle for civil rights.
There is an effort to rename the Edmund Pettus Bridge—which had been named after a Confederate General and Ku Klux Klan leader—for the late Congressman John Lewis (see photo between the Obamas).
Lewis was one of the prominent activists who marched across the bridge in Selma on March 7, 1965, only to suffer a fractured skull when Alabama state troopers beat the civil rights marchers to stop their crossing. The day became known as “Bloody Sunday.”
Public outcry following the police brutality at the march subsequently led to a push to pass the Voting Rights Act of 1965.
This year’s Selma Jubilee comes after a tornado struck Selma and surrounding counties, causing heavy damage and killing nine people.
“On March 7, 1965, Selma was the scene of a devastating political storm. Our beloved community faced another storm that caused great damage on Jan. 12, 2023, when a tornado ravaged the city. Selma has withstood tremendous obstacles. We know the next storm will make us stronger, and the Jubilee will go on March 2-5, 2023,” jubilee organizers stated in a news release.