Home » On Bloody Sunday anniversary, Black leaders say the fight for voting rights endures

On Bloody Sunday anniversary, Black leaders say the fight for voting rights endures

by The Grio

As the nation marks 58 years since Bloody Sunday, Black civil rights leaders and elected officials are committed to winning what they see as the modern fight to protect voting rights.

On March 7, 1965, Alabama state troopers pummeled voting rights activists on the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma as they attempted to make their way to Montgomery, the state capital, to protest Jim Crow laws that denied the right to vote for millions of Black Americans. 

Within months, the violence of that day propelled the nation forward and galvanized Congress to pass the Voting Rights Act of 1965, prohibiting racial discrimination in voting. However, nearly six decades later, leaders warn that the country is slipping backward in the progress to achieve racial equality and protect the right to vote.

“We no longer have to count how many jelly beans are in a jar, but old battles have become new again,” U.S. Rep. Terri Sewell of Alabama told theGrio. 

Guessing the number of jelly beans in a jar and other voter suppression tactics used historically to stop Black Americans from exercising their right to vote compelled the marchers of Bloody Sunday — led by civil rights icon John Lewis — to peacefully protest against racial discrimination and intimidation at the ballot.

Sewell, the only Black member of Alabama’s congressional delegation, said today new legal tactics had been implemented to suppress voter turnout.

“Now, all of a sudden, we have state laws that will restrict you from being handed water while you’re waiting in line,” she said, referring to a law enacted in Georgia in 2021.

Since the 2020 presidential election — and following incessant false claims of voter fraud by former president Donald Trump and his allies — there have been more than 400 bills introduced in states across the country that restrict voting, according to the Brennan Center for Justice. 

Moreover, rulings…

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