Bob Smith

Story by WVUA 23’s Grace Campbell.

March 7, 1965 is a historic day in Civil Rights history. It is known as “Bloody Sunday.” On that day, there was supposed to be a Civil Rights march from Selma, Alabama, to the state’s capital for voting rights, but the march was halted on the Edmund Pettus Bridge when about 600 protestors were violently stopped by police.

Bob Smith was 20 when he attended the original march and said he wanted to attend it so he could join the people who were working for their right to vote. Smith said he was pistol-whipped and kicked by police later that night.

“I thought I was going to die that day, two people in fact did die,” Smith said.

After “Bloody Sunday,” the Voting Rights Act was passed and reduced the disparity between black and white voters in the United States.

55 years later, people from across the country still come to Selma to stand on the shoulders of those who sacrificed their lives.

“We’re standing here in the gap for so many today,” attendee from South Carolina Michelle Harper-Meriwether said. “We will press forward. We will walk that Edmund Pettus Bridge. We will talk about how important it is to vote and we will be present in everything and every step that we take.”

In 1965, people walked across the Edmund Pettus Bridge for their right to vote. Now people march across the bridge to make sure the lives lost were not in vain.

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