Civil rights leader recalls violence leading up to 1965 Voting Rights Act – Alabama News

Civil rights leader recalls violence leading up to 1965 Voting Rights Act – Alabama News

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It’s difficult to identify a historic civil rights moment in central Alabama that doesn’t have a tie to Alabama State University. Here’s a look at some of the lesser-known leaders of the movement who either taught at or attended Alabama State.
Kelsey Davis/Advertiser

SELMA — It was an ambush and Bernard LaFayette wasn’t about to go down fighting because he had other ways of dealing with violence.

“How I survived I don’t know,” recalled one of America’s most famous civil rights leaders. “I was very lucky that night.”

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What he did was practice non-violence in the face of violence, struggling from the pavement to his feet three times after he was knocked down by a much bigger man on a dark street in Selma 52 years ago.

“I view it as a form of resistance with support from a power beyond myself,” he said.

Medgar Evers never had that opportunity. The Mississippi civil rights leader was shot in the back as he walked from his car to his front door after a long, hot June day working on civil rights projects.

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