NewsOne recently partnered with Black Voters Matter to document the annual commemoration of the Bloody Sunday marches from Selma to Montgomery in Alabama and help draw attention to the urgent importance of participating in the 2022 midterm elections.
The voting rights advocacy group joined with other civil rights leaders to not just emphasize why voting is especially crucial this year, but also to provide several teaching moments to the contingency of students from historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs) who were on hand to help flex the collective muscle of youth voters and their resulting activism.
Re-enacting the Bloody Sunday march from March 7, 1965, organizers and participants of this year’s events made their united message clear: Exercise voting rights in order to bring about the legislative change they’re demanding.
Aside from the civil rights groups and HBCU student activists participating in the commemoration, people like attorney Ben Crump, Ahmaud Arbery’s mother, Wanda Cooper-Jones, and the families of Breonna Taylor and George Floyd were also present.
They all helped underscore the important link between their causes and voting by pointing out how casting ballots can cast out those politicians who are not interested in furthering their interests, like police reform and, yes, voting rights.
Cliff Albright, the executive director and co-founder of Black Voters Matter, said his mission is to build power in Black communities by organizing around elections.
Issues like police violence, housing, gentrification, environmental justice, education and healthcare are all intrinsically linked to voting, Albright said. That’s why Black Voters Matter has a presence in 25 states with staff or partnerships with local groups.
“We can’t just show up when it’s election time if we haven’t been there all year long supporting communities like this on the issues that they’re facing,” he said.
Black Voters Matter co-founder LaTosha Brown agreed with that sentiment.
“This is what democracy looks like,” she said.
Watch the video to get a better idea of the powerful activism championed by Black Voters matter and other civil rights groups who were in Alabama to help commemorate the historic Bloody Sunday marches from Selma to Montgomery in 1965.