On March 8, Rollins field study students walked across the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Alabama to commemorate the 50th anniversary of “Bloody Sunday,” a historic event in the civil rights movement.
Assistant Professor of Sociology Matthew Nichter led five Rollins students on a field study about the civil rights movement, racial equality, and the origin of the Voting Rights Act of 1965. The students toured the Edmund Pettus Bridge prior to Sunday’s anniversary march and shared their favorite moments from the week-long trip on Twitter and Instagram #RollinsSelma. (Left to right: Sarah Castro ’16, Ellen Jones ’16, Amanda Castoire ’16, Isabela Figueroa ’18, and Ariana Simpson ’15)
Students explored Birmingham, Alabama, and stand on the steps of 16th Street Baptist Church. In 1963, the Ku Klux Klan planted dynamite under the church’s stairs in an act of white supremacist terrorism that took the lives of four young African-American girls and injured 22 others.
The group caught a performance by members of the Freedom Singers, Emory Harris (pictured here second from the left) and his sister Rutha Mae Harris.
They sit down for a conversation with Joanne Bland, the co-founder and former director of the National Voting Rights Museum and Institute in Selma, Alabama. She was one of the youngest activists in the civil rights movement who marched on what would become known as “Bloody Sunday.” By the age of 11, she had been arrested 13 times for her activism.
They stand by a Selma voting rights mural near the place where the Rev. James Reeb was beaten in 1965 following the second march known as “Turnaround Tuesday.” Reeb later died from his injuries.
Selma’s 50th Anniversary Annual Bridge Crossing Jubilee brought thousands to Alabama to walk across the bridge. The first family, civil rights leaders, and members of Congress began the march on Saturday, March 7.
Al Jazeera America interviews Ariana Simpson ’15 about her participation in Sunday’s anniversary march.
You can see more photos and video footage from the Rollins Selma Field Study trip on Twitter and Instagram #RollinsSelma. (Image courtesy of Julian Chambliss)