Behind the Lens: Selma, 50 Years Later- White House photos

 Behind the Lens: Selma, 50 Years Later- White House photos

by Pete Souza, Chief Official White House Photographer

Selma March

Selma – March 7, 1965

March 7, 1965. It became known as “Bloody Sunday.” Six hundred people defied the warnings of authorities and attempted to march across the Edmund Pettus Bridge from Selma, Alabama, to show the desire of black American citizens to exercise their constitutional right to vote.

I was a young boy growing up in Massachusetts at the time, and I can’t say that I was aware of what was happening in Selma. I didn’t know the marchers were attacked at the bridge with billy clubs and tear gas. I didn’t know that there was this much hatred in the South between blacks and whites. 

In later years, as I became interested in photojournalism, it was the photographs that brought that awful day to life for me.

I came to admire the photographs especially of Charles Moore, a photojournalist who was documenting civil rights for Life magazine. I probably learned more about what had happened on that day and that period of time by studying his photographs than I did in any history class I ever had in school. For me, the photographs depicted the horror and the hatred in a way that words couldn’t.  [See more + pictures below]

https://medium.com/@WhiteHouse/behind-the-lens-selma-50-years-later-68bf9a3a70

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