Selma's Painful Progress

Civil rights marchers recall a notorious anniversary

The Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. had targeted Selma, Ala., for a voter- registration drive. Although the city had 15,100 black residents, its voting rolls were 99% white. Dallas County Sheriff James Clark and his deputies arrested some 2,000 blacks trying to register, many merely for entering the whites-only front door of the courthouse. King on March 5, 1965, asked his followers to march 54 miles from Selma to the state capital in Montgomery to dramatize the injustice. "I can't promise that you won't get beaten," he warned. "But we must stand up for what is right."

Selma (pop. 27,260) has...

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