Friday, May 23, 2014
"Never Lose Sight of Freedom" shown at Selma Interpretive Center
The National Park Service historical center in Lowndes County, AL, (the Selma to Montgomery National Historic Trail and the Lowndes County Interpretive Center, link) on highway US 80, shows a 22 minute short film “Never Lose Sight of on Freedom”, by David Raymond, giving the history of the freedom marches from Selma AL to Montgomery (about 40 miles) in March, 1965. The first march was met with police and vigilante violence, but the intervention of Lyndon Johnson and his federalizing of the Alabama National Guard made a successful march late that month work. The film shows many of the encampments along the way.
The film explains the way the poll taxes and other requirements kept blacks from voting. Even a half century later, the poverty rate among blacks is unusually high in the state, relative even to other states in the South.
The film made a lot of the personal sacrifices. One speaker said that for the people who sacrificed, life was taken from them. Another person made the startling assertion that to continue living without freedom would be shameful and death would instead be appropriate. Still another individual said that the Berlin Wall would not have fallen three decades later without the sacrifice.
The film has subtitles of the names of the spirituals, starting with “We Shall Overcome” and finally “Free at Last”. Some images were shown on a second screen.
The film is one of the most passionate on the 1965 marches that I have seen.