50 years after the legendary march that started out from Selma and ended in Washington D.C. brought African Americans the right to vote, people are marching yet again, because the current situation of African Americans is still in great need of improvement. Promoting equality is still extremely necessary in the U.S., as racism still lurks in too many institutions.
After too many African American citizens have been shot by policemen despite not being armed, people have decided that the time has come to take a stand on this horrible discrimination and along with it, fight for improving many other injustices that African Americans still need to face in the U.S. today.
Today is the second day of the very long march towards Washington called America’s Journey for Justice . The participants will march for approximately 860 miles and they are expected to arrive in Washington D.C. on the 15th of September. At the moment the 200 participants have exited Selma and are heading towards Georgia, where they expect they will be joined by many more people.
The issues that they want to bring awareness towards are many, but the main focus will be that 50 years after Selma, the rate of unemployment among African Americans is still immense, that they hold the record for incarcerated people and that they face wage inequality on a regular basis. The Journey for Justice participants intend to discuss one particular topic in every state that they pass through.
Thus, they will discuss wage inequality among white and black Americans when they stop in Alabama, the improvements that need to be brought to education when they stop in Georgia, the state and reform of the justice system when they stop in South Carolina and then the current state and the reform of voting rights when they stop in North Caroline. When they finally reach Washington, the Journey for Justice participants will discuss all of these matters yet again, in the hope of getting a change.
Among the numerous cases of innocent African Americans killed by policemen, the most striking one remains that of Freddie Gray, that has caused worldwide outrage and that has fueled numerous protests in Baltimore. The America’s Journey for Justice is meant to be completely peaceful, because these matters can only be resolved though acceptance and kindness, so that discrimination and racism could be overcome.
The 2014 motion picture dedicated to Selma is a great advantage to the America’s Journey for Justice, because it has provided worldwide visibility to the events of 1965. Since many people have seen the movie only a few months back, there are many more people out there today who have recently learned or remembered the events that happened 50 years ago.
This advantage of awareness will prove to be extremely useful for the march towards Washington, because many people who saw the film might have thought that they would have wanted to be a part of the action in Selma and now they actually get a chance to do that.
The film’s message was best conveyed by artists Common and John Legend at the Academy Awards ceremony this year,when they sang their winning song called
“Glory”. Their performance was so moving that it got the entire Dolby Theater to stand in support of their cause, in support of equality.
When the two musicians accepted their award, they took the opportunity to call out the need for continuing the measures taken in 1965, because there is great need for further change right now, before we can live in country free of racism.
“(…)we say Selma is now, because the struggle for justice is right now. We know that the voting rights, the act that they fought for 50 years ago is being compromised right now in this country today.(…)We live in the most incarcerated country in the world. There are more black men under correctional control today than were under slavery in 1850.” said John Legend in his acceptance speech.
It remains to be seen how many people will join America’s Journey for Justice in the next few days, as their cause is extremely important for creating the America we all want to live in, where there truly is liberty and justice for all.
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