Dear John Lewis,
Reading MARCH has made me really reconsider what I knew about the civil rights movement. I had learned about it in school but looking back it was a very watered down version of everything that had happened. Their were so many people involved, both in leadership and tragedy, that I had never even heard of before reading your story. I feel like I understand the struggle more after reading a first hand account of all the events that lead up to the signing of the Voting Rights Act.
With the assassinations of Malcolm X and Jimmie Lee Jackson, everything only got worse with the violence on Bloody Sunday. It was so shocking to see the police so violently assault such peaceful protesters. It was especially ironic because the protesters were praying. So many people were sent to the hospital and moral seemed to be broken. Even so, on March 21 they marched again all the way to Selma. The dedication everyone showed to the cause is extremely admirable
Even though voting isn’t an issue anymore, our world is filled with inequalities. Now more than ever we need to remember to fight for what is right. We have to remember that everything we have now, we have because someone stood up and said it was what we deserved. We can not be scared to fight against the inequalities of the world. If MARCH has taught me anything it is that we need to always do what we can to better the world.
Dear John Lewis,
This part of MARCH, an election for the Presidency is riling everyone up. Once again, the right to vote is brought up. Several people faced horrible atrocities just for wanting to be able to register to vote in the election. It’s horrific to think that people would attack African Americans for asking to be allowed to vote for their President. It makes me sick just thinking about it. All that struggle and they still lost. It must have felt so defeating.
You traveled around the world advocating for your cause as things in the US continued to decline. The SNCC was buckling under its weight and the more than joined, the harder it was to make decisions. They were split on everything. Groups can often be split from movements, it happens all the time now. A small but vocal minority can paint a bad picture of the whole movement. It’s happened with things like the femanist movement and other similar ones. The story continues to escalate, small victories are nice but that’s not what they want anymore. They just want to be equal. It’s awful to think simple actions like going through the front door could escalate into police violence and arrest.
MARCH continues to push the idea of protesting for change. That waiting isn’t the right way to make things happen, and no matter what the opposing side throws at you keep pushing forward. Even now, in a day and age where there is more equality than ever, inequality is still rampant and we can not just settle for small victories.