The Civil Rights Movement has contributed some of the most epic and pivotal moments in US history. Among the most dramatic were the events of March 7, 1965, in the Black Belt hamlet of Selma. On that day, six hundred protesters led by Martin Luther King Jr. set out on foot from Selma to Montgomery to demand voting rights. They got no further than the city’s Edmund Pettus Bridge before state and local law enforcement officers savagely attacked them with truncheons, an event now commemorated as “Bloody Sunday.”
This year, UAP is proud to highlight our extensive list of memoirs and histories about Selma and the civil rights movement in Alabama. These classics in include Selma, Lord, Selma, a memoir coauthored by the youngest participant in the Bloody Sunday March, Sheyann Webb-Christburg. She will be the next featured speaker in the Alabama Department of Archives and History’s popular ArchiTreats lunchtime speaker program on Thursday, March 19. Click here for details.
A best-seller newly available in a paperback edition is Richie Jean Sherrod Jackson’s memoir The House by the Side of the Road: The Selma Civil Rights Movement. Richie Jean’s Selma home provided a safe haven for Martin Luther King Jr. and his lieutenants, events recently brought to life in the 2015 film “Selma.”
Other best-sellers include the photographic retrospective Powerful Days: Civil Rights Photography of Charles Moore, featuring Alabama native and Life photographer Charles Moore’s most iconic civil rights–era photos. Black in Selma tells the story of J. L. Chestnut Jr, often identified in accounts of Bloody Sunday as “a local attorney,” who in fact was a central figure in Selma not just during March 1965 but for decades beyond. A recent best-seller is Maria Gitin’s fascinating memoir This Bright Light of Ours, which recounts her experiences as a voting rights activist in neighboring Wilcox County in the months following Bloody Sunday.
Readers in the Alabama area may be interested in taking part in this weekend’s Bridge Crossing Jubilee in Selma. Many UAP books will be available at the Wallace Community College Barnes & Noble as well as at the Jubilee festival.