Can you picture it? I can.
About 600 men and women joined together for a cause. Joining hands, raising voices. Marching together to secure the right to vote not just for themselves and their children, but for generations of black citizens.
I’m talking about March 7, 1965 – Bloody Sunday. After months of trying to register black voters in the county seat of Selma, Alabama – and being blocked – protestors coordinated a march. What was intended as a peaceful demonstration was met with violence and intolerance. But in that low moment the tide turned.
Five months later, the Voting Rights Act became a law.
Walking across the Edmund Pettus bridge 50 years later, surrounded by my AT&T family, it was so real to me. Not only could I picture it, but I could imagine what they must have felt. The hope, an unshakable belief that they could make a change. The anger that must have burned over the injustice. The fear when they saw a wall of police armed with clubs and tear gas.
As I walked I could also feel those emotions… hope, anger, fear. But I also felt another emotion. Gratitude. We owe an immeasurable debt to those brave civil rights activists who met at the Edmund Pettus bridge on March 7, 1965.
I turned to my AT&T sister next to me and told her, “We need to slow down and savor this moment.”
I’m grateful to have been part of the celebratory march. Together, we honored what these people did, the sacrifices they made. Because of them, I can proudly walk into a polling place and cast my vote. Because of them, every citizen in the United States can too – regardless of color, gender or creed.
Fleeta Botts - Sales Lead, Atlanta, GA