Journal Entry: March 7, 1965
May 7, 2014
Mr. Jeff Wilson
March 7, 1965
Today is the day that we showed the white people of America that we will not sit down and watch as they dangle our freedom in our faces. The day began with thoughts of justice, and equality, and the egger feeling that after today we, brothers and sisters, will soon be able to exercise our right to vote, just as our constitution permits. As I got dressed this morning, in my best suit and tie, I imagined what the feeling would be like to actually cast my first vote. Because today we will march. We will march for our right to vote, for the ability to physically vote, without the acts of violence, and without literacy tests. I got to the church where everyone was told to meet. One of the leaders of SNCC reminded us that this was a peaceful demonstration and no one will act in violence in the face of violence. Really!? I said to myself. If someone becomes violent with me I cannot just ...view middle of the document...
As we set out on our journey I could already imagine myself standing in line, in anticipation, waiting to vote. And as I get to the ballot I am not beaten, I am not taken away to jail, and there are no hoops or rings of fire to jump through. Just me and the ability to vote. It was a liberating moment for me, as I would assume it be for others as well. The march started off very pleasant, everyone was in high spirits, and very ready to get on with the march. You could see smiles across a sea of faces, hear readiness in the voices of many, and unity in a cause that was so very important to the lives of courageous people. A woman right beside me had one of the most beautiful voices I ever did hear. She sang songs of freedom and equality the whole way. Another fella walking right beside me held his head so high, he said it was the first time in years he could walk with his head up, because today he was walking not just for himself but for his people. There were white people marching with us too, they showed me how not everyone is alike, some people are just ignorant. Some people held American flags as we marched, to show that we are American too, and as Americans we have the right to do what Americans do, and one of those is vote. So far there the march was peaceful and full of liberation but that soon changed, in some ways for the worst and some for the best. As we approached the Edmund Pettus Bridge officers demanded that we turn around and go home. We set out on a journey and no one was going to stop us so we continued to march for our equality. Just as we crossed the bridge we were blindsided by an attack by Alabama officers. I was struck by a can of tear gas one of the officers threw into the crowd. With the burning sensation running through my body all I could do was fall to the floor. People were running every which way trying to get away from the attack. The whole of America watched as women and men were beaten by officers with clubs, horse whips wrapped with bobbed wire, and even trampled on by horses. As long as I live I will never forget the events of today that will go down in American history as Bloody Sunday. I know that after today Americans will no longer sit in their place and watch as us Blacks continue to be treated this way. We will obtain equality and justice.