January 15, 1929 – April 4, 1968
Selma is a 2014 American historical drama film directed by Ava DuVernay and written by Paul Webb. It is based on the 1965 Selma to Montgomery voting rights marches led by James Bevel, Hosea Williams, Martin Luther King, Jr., and John Lewis. The film stars actors David Oyelowo as King, Tom Wilkinson as President Lyndon B. Johnson, Tim Roth as George Wallace, Carmen Ejogoas Coretta Scott King, and rapper and actor Common as Bevel.
At first, I was skeptical on how this history would be portrayed. I didn’t want a melodrama about Bloody Sunday and those on the front lines of the Civil Rights Movement. But, Director, Ava DuVernay did an incredible job and for me, the film should be included as part of the historical record.
Selma was a turning point in the Civil Rights Movement. In your living room. In your face. The first march took place on March 7, 1965, organized locally by SCLC Director of Direct Action James Bevel, who was directing SCLC’s Selma Voting Rights Movement. State troopers and county posse men attacked the unarmed marchers with billy clubs and tear gas after they passed over the county line, and the event became known as Bloody Sunday. Law enforcement beat activist Amelia Boynton unconscious, and the media publicized worldwide a picture of her lying wounded on the bridge.
Selma had four Golden Globe Award nominations, including Best Motion Picture – Drama, Best Director, and Best Actor, and won for Best Original Song. It was also nominated for Best Picture and won Best Original Song at the 87th Academy Awards.
Whether you know the history or just learning, I consider the film Selma essential viewing for a pivotal moment in the Civil Rights Movement. A Movement which we must always remember and never forget as …
The Struggle Continues.