Today we commemorate the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. One way that I have chosen to honor his work this weekend is to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Voting Rights Act, signed into law by President Lyndon Johnson on August 6, 1965. Four generations of my family viewed the movie Selma together this weekend. Selma depicts the crusade led by Dr. King to eliminate legal barriers at the state and local levels that prevented African Americans from exercising their right to vote under the 15th Amendment to the Constitution of the United States. In the movie we see the voting rights activists in the South being subjected to various forms of mistreatment and violence. On March 7, 1965, peaceful participants in a voting rights march from Selma, Alabama, to the state capital in Montgomery were met by Alabama state troopers and attacked with nightsticks, tear gas and whips after they refused to end their march. The incident, known as Bloody Sunday, was captured on national television and sparked national outrage from Americans of all races and religions. The realistic portrayal of violence, fear, and abuse of power in the film is life changing. I am so grateful for the courage and bravery of the people who put their lives on the line so that I can be authentically me.
It is no coincidence that this movie hits theaters as the United States is standing at another moral crossroads as it relates to race and equality. The parallels are almost frightening. My concern is that we are moving backwards as a country instead of continuing our progression forward but I digress in this blog.
Oprah Winfrey is one of the producers of the movie Selma and is utilizing OWN, her television network, to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the marches and legislation. OWN aired three completely AMAZING television shows that sustained my intense level of gratitude for the freedoms I have today. The shows are: Oprah’s Masterclass: Civil Rights Special, Oprah Prime: Dr. King and the Selma Marches, and Legends Who Paved The Way. I highly recommend that you take the time to see all three shows if you have the opportunity.
Today is a great day to see the movie Selma. What are you doing today to honor Dr. King?
Nicki Sanders is an experienced trainer, group facilitator, and program manager. She has packaged her Masters of Social Work degree and over 15 years of work experience into Packaged For Success, a training and professional development company. Packaged For Success provides career development coaching to college students and job seekers. Packaged For Success also offers communication and productivity improvement training for employees and supervisors as well as provides consultation on building sustainable, impactful, socially responsible corporate programs.
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