SELMA, Ala. — Protest marches have been part of Selma’s civil rights fabric since 1965, but an 860-mile trek to Washington had a minister leaning on the Bible for heavenly support Saturday.
The Rev. Theresa Dear noted the magnitude of what lies ahead, but never doubted that the “40-day-and-40-night” march will be successful.
Dear told the Montgomery Advertiser (http://on.mgmadv.com/1KI1EQp) just before the march began at the Edmund Pettus Bridge, “We are doing something of biblical proportions.”
Sponsored by the NAACP, “America’s Journey for Justice” is scheduled to extend through eastern seaboard states before ending in Washington, D.C., on Sept. 15.
More than 200 supporters took part in the first leg of a march that will be about 16 times the 54-mile distance covered by voting rights activists in 1965.
Marchers cross Alabama on Day 2 of ‘Journey for Justice’
Protest marchers in Alabama on Sunday embarked on the second day of their planned 860-mile trek to Washington, D.C., as part of “America’s Journey for Justice.”
The “America’s Journey for Justice” is scheduled to cross through Alabama, Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina and Virginia before reaching Washington, D.C., in mid-September.
The start of the march on Saturday, August 1, drew participants from around the globe.
RaSharon King drove down from Bradley County, Tennessee, to participate. She also visited Selma for the 50th anniversary of Bloody Sunday earlier this year.
“Since the route doesn’t come through our state, we wanted to be a part of history,” King told The Selma Times-Journal (http://bit.ly/1IduioF ).
“All of the inequalities that are occurring today – we wanted to be part of the movement to show our support,” King added.
Members of the Suyker family from the Netherlands say they watched the movie “Selma” earlier this year and wanted to get a firsthand look at history while on their tour of the South.
“We just ran into this, and we were of course interested in what was going on. They immediately invited us to join,” said Peter Suyker, who was visiting with his wife and two sons. “Just when we arrived, this is happening. It’s pretty cool.”
The marchers are expected to cross into Georgia around Friday.
Organizers say rallies are planned for several stops along the route, including Atlanta; Greenville, South Carolina; Charlotte, North Carolina; and Washington, D.C., according to preliminary plans announced by the NAACP.
The marchers are focusing on different issues as they cross each state. In Alabama, the focus is on economic inequality, for instance. In Georgia, it will be education reform.