Vice President Kamala Harris will travel to Selma, Alabama, on Sunday where she will cross the Edmund Pettus Bridge to mark the 57th anniversary of Bloody Sunday, a landmark civil rights moment.
Bloody Sunday commemorates when, in 1965, 600 people began a march from Selma, Alabama, to Montgomery, Alabama, demanding an end to discrimination in voter registration. At the Edmund Pettus Bridge, state and local lawmen attacked the marchers with clubs and tear gas, pushing them back to Selma. Seventeen people were hospitalized and dozens more were injured by police.
The vice president will also meet with civil rights leaders and deliver remarks in Alabama, according to the White House. She will be joined by Housing and Urban Development Secretary Marcia Fudge, Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg, Education Secretary Miguel Cardona, Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Michael Regan and Deputy Secretary to veterans Donald Remy.
Harris, who is the first black woman and the first South Asian woman to serve as vice president, has attended previous anniversary events in Selma.
During virtual remarks at a memorial service last year, she recalled joining the late Congressman John Lewis – a civil rights icon who helped lead the 1965 march – on the march annual on the bridge three years earlier.
“I was with him on his last crossing of the Edmund Pettus Bridge. And I will forever hold that memory in my heart,” Harris said.
President Joe Biden also signed an executive order to expand voting access on the anniversary of Bloody Sunday last year.
During his State of the Union address last Tuesday, the President reiterated his call for Congress to pass and send several key pieces of voting rights legislation to his office for enactment. , including the John Lewis Voting Rights Act. The bill aims to combat voter suppression and update parts of the Voting Rights Act, which was enacted in the summer of 1965, months after Bloody Sunday.
However, despite White House efforts, Senate Democrats failed to vote in January to change the chamber’s filibuster rules – essentially dashing their hopes of passing any federal legislative intervention on the right to vote. vote before the 2022 midterm elections.