Wednesday 24 March 2010

Letter from America: Lemara Lindsay-Prince

AMS student Lemara Lindsay-Prince is currently spending her year abroad at Temple University in Philadelphia. On March 7th, Lemara travelled to Alabama to commemorate a key moment in Civil Rights history. Her account of her experiences was initially published on her own blog, here. We're very pleased to be able to share it with you:
On March 7th 1965 lines of African Americans walked across a bridge in Selma, Alabama. They were walking with a purpose to get the then Governor Jim Clark to give African Americans their voting rights. It’s no secret that African Americans had been disenfranchised since they were brought to America and one aspect of the Civil Rights Movement for black equality involved voting.

The date of March 7th is cemented in Civil Rights history as that innocent action of walking across a bridge was met with the most horrific violence.

If you're not familiar with the events of Bloody Sunday click my Videos tab for a small clip from the mini-documentary I am currently putting together about my trip [or see below]. I was invited by Brother Nate as I like to call him to go to Alabama for the weekend and not just re-enact the march across the bridge but to meet some of the pioneers of the movement, who walked across the bridge 45 years ago that day.

Jubilee weekend was set up by Rose and Hank Saunders in order to commemorate the bravery and remember that fateful day. Jubilee Weekend consists of a celebration of exceptional people in today’s struggle for Civil Rights. Being honoured that weekend was Winnie Mandela.

Walking across the bridge early on in the day before the cameras and television crews got there was a very sobering experience. I was happy to be there, to witness and experience it, but at the same time something sunk heavy in me.

History is a powerful thing to read, learn and see.

The struggle for black equality jumped off the page that whole weekend as I met and talked to the original people who walked across the bridge that day forty five years ago.
Lemara is currently putting together a short documentary about the event. Here's a snippet:

And Lemara is also at work on a series of posts about the Black Experience in the US and the UK - "A Different Kind of Black." Read it, and leave her a comment.

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