J3016

Commemorating the 55th Anniversary of Bloody Sunday and the Selma-to-Montgomery march across the Edmund Pettus Bridge

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J3016



Senate Resolution No. 3016

BY: Senator STEWART-COUSINS

COMMEMORATING the 55th Anniversary of Bloody
Sunday and the Selma-to-Montgomery march across the
Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Alabama, which served
as a catalyst for passage of the 1965 Voting Rights
Act

WHEREAS, The Selma to Montgomery march was part of a series of civil
rights protests that occurred in 1965 in Alabama, a state which was
deeply entrenched racist policies; and

WHEREAS, In March of that year, in an effort to register black
voters in the South, protesters marching the 54-mile route from Selma to
the state capital of Montgomery were confronted with deadly violence
from local authorities and white vigilante groups; and

WHEREAS, As the world watched, the protesters under the protection
of federalized National Guard troops finally achieved their goal,
walking around the clock for three days to reach Montgomery, Alabama;
the historic march, and Martin Luther King, Jr.'s participation in it,
raised awareness of the difficulties faced by black voters, and the need
for a national Voting Rights Act; and

WHEREAS, Even after the Civil Rights Act of 1964 forbade
discrimination in voting on the basis of race, efforts by civil rights
organizations such as the Southern Christian Leadership Council (SCLC)
and the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) to register
black voters were met with fierce resistance in southern states such as
Alabama; and

WHEREAS, On March 17, 1965, even as the Selma-to-Montgomery marchers
fought for the right to carry out their protest, President Lyndon
Johnson addressed a joint session of Congress, calling for federal
voting rights legislation to protect African Americans from barriers
that prevented them from voting; and

WHEREAS, That August, Congress passed the Voting Rights Act of 1965,
which guaranteed the right to vote, first awarded by the 15th Amendment,
to all African Americans; and

WHEREAS, Specifically, the Voting Rights Act of 1965 banned literacy
tests as a requirement for voting, mandated federal oversight of voter
registration in areas where tests had previously been used and gave the
U.S. attorney general the duty of challenging the use of poll taxes for
state and local elections; and

WHEREAS, Along with the Civil Rights Act, the Voting Rights Act was
one of the most expansive pieces of civil rights legislation in American
history; it greatly reduced the disparity between black and white voters
in the United States and allowed greater numbers of African Americans to
participate in politics and government at the local, state and national
level; and

WHEREAS, On March 7, 2015, marchers walked over the Brooklyn Bridge
in solidarity with the 50th Anniversary of Bloody Sunday and the
Selma-to-Montgomery march across the Edmund Pettus Bridge; the Selma is
Everywhere march honored those who fought and continue to fight for
social injustice and to remind all United States citizens to never
forget the pain which was endured in the movement to attain basic civil
rights; and

WHEREAS, To commemorate the 55th Anniversary of Bloody Sunday and
the historic march, a myriad of events were held from Selma to New York,
and across this great Nation to remember and recall that pivotal day
which forever changed the lives of each and every American citizen; one
such event included the Manhattan kick off of the nationwide tour of
Turning 15 on the Road to Freedom, a musical filled with songs telling
the story of Lynday Blacmon Lowery, the youngest child to walk all the
way from Selma to Montgomery; now, therefore, be it

RESOLVED, That this Legislative Body pause in its deliberations to
commemorate the 55th Anniversary of Bloody Sunday and the
Selma-to-Montgomery march across the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma,
Alabama, which served as a catalyst for passage of the 1965 Voting
Rights Act; and be it further

RESOLVED, That a copy of this Resolution, suitably engrossed, be
transmitted to Hazel N. Dukes, President, National Association for the
Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), New York State Conference.

actions

  • 06 / Mar / 2020
    • REFERRED TO FINANCE
  • 10 / Mar / 2020
    • REPORTED TO CALENDAR FOR CONSIDERATION
  • 10 / Mar / 2020
    • ADOPTED

Resolution Details

Law Section:
Resolutions, Legislative

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