INDIANAPOLIS (March 7, 2015) - To commemorate the 50th anniversary of what became known as Bloody Sunday, when peaceful civil rights protesters were beaten by police while crossing the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Ala., hundreds marched through downtown Indianapolis.
Organizers called the event “Selma is Now.”
“We brought our 6th grade warriors today because we've been talking about the march on Selma,” Kris Walker-Guess said, from Indianapolis.
IMPD estimates about 500 people marched five miles to the Statehouse Saturday afternoon.
For the young marchers generations-removed, Selma is more of a movie than an event.
“When they went on the march, they showed they weren’t afraid to get beaten,” Risque Earls said, a 12-year-old marching. “They showed they weren’t scared, so they passed that onto the other African American people in the future.”
The generation of youth that marched Saturday reflect on their young counterparts marching 50 years ago.
“I would have been scared,” Wanza Robinson said. “Because I don’t want to be hurt that bad that I have to get surgery.”
Parents and teachers hope that conversation continues.
“I think some of the children are afraid to visualize themselves back in the day,” Walker-Guess said. “However I think many of them want to think about today and what they can do to keep history from repeating itself.”
Former State Rep. Bill Crawford doesn’t remember exactly where he was 50 years ago, but he remembers the feeling.
“The reaction was there was something I needed to do,” he said. “Unless we learn well the less of the past, we might repeat that in the future. And it’s their future, and their future needs to be one of equal access, equal protection under the law.”
Voter registration accompanied Saturday’s march.