Movie ‘Selma’ sparks interest in historic Alabama city

21 Jan 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Glenn Beck Explains Why ‘Selma’ Was Actually Snubbed At The Oscars.

President Barack Obama will visit Selma, Alabama, in March to mark the 50th anniversary of civil rights demonstrators’ march across the state to Montgomery, the White House said Tuesday. Martin Luther King Jr.’s protest marches in 1965 Alabama — was snubbed for a number of Oscar nominations, many critics blamed a lack of diversity within the Academy as the root of the problem. But a bigger event is expected to attract more than 40,000 people — including present and former government officials — in Selma March 5-9 for the annual Bridge Crossing Jubilee, including a walk across the bridge March 8.

And the last thing that progressives want is for their great hero of the 1960s, LBJ, to be remembered that way.” “That’s why that wasn’t nominated,” he continued, adding that the film’s Best Picture nomination alone is already “killing” progressives. “It had nothing to do with race. In a delicately wrought scene in which Coretta Scott King calls out her husband about his infidelities, some of the teenage girls reacted with a chorus of “oooohs.” Ms. Those events and others helped lead to passage of the 1965 Voting Rights Act, which opened Southern polling places to millions of blacks and ended all-white rule in the South. DuVernay sets the tone for her portrayal of Lyndon Johnson as patronizing and skittish on civil rights in the first scene between the president and King. Today, the bridge and adjoining downtown business district look much as they did in 1965, except many storefronts are empty and government buildings are occupied largely by African-American officials.

LBJ stands above a seated MLK, pats him on the shoulder, and tells him “this voting thing is just going to have to wait” while he works on “the eradication of poverty.” Many of the teenagers by me bristled at the power dynamic between the men. The piece blasted DuVernay for her negative portrayal of Johnson and called for the film to be “ruled out” during the award season. “Bottom line is folks should interrogate history,” DuVernay wrote on Twitter at the time. “Don’t take my word for it or LBJ rep’s word for it. Near the bridge, a free tour of an interpretative center built by the National Park Service offers photographs of the events and emotional video interviews with people who were on both sides of the issues.

Nearby is the Ancient Africa, Enslavement and Civil War Museum, where visitors can see how slaves were captured, sold and exploited, including a depiction of what it was like to be on a slave ship bound for America. Hollywood has done that with films like “Mississippi Burning,” which cast white FBI agents as the heroes, or “Cry Freedom,” which made a white journalist the focus rather than Denzel Washington’s anti-apartheid activist, Steve Biko. One feature that stands out is the white plaster footprints of the largely unknown participants in the march and their personal stories about being part of history, from facing danger to treating blistered feet. Hank Sanders, Selma’s first black senator since Reconstruction and a founder of the National Voting Rights Museum, said Selma’s location an hour’s drive west of Interstate 65, a major route to Gulf Coast beaches, will help attract more visitors to the museum this spring and summer.

Valenti said that his boss talked to him about it the night of JFK’s assassination in the bedroom of Johnson’s house in D.C., The Elms, before the newly sworn-in president went to sleep. After touring Selma, visitors can drive the march route along U.S. 80 to the halfway point in White Hall, where the Park Service has a much larger interpretative center about the events. On the tape of a phone conversation between Johnson and King the week of LBJ’s 1965 inauguration, the president said that he indicated the time was not yet ripe to ask Congress for it, and he made it clear that they both needed to think of something that would move public opinion more than a presidential speech. “Johnson was probably thinking, at least in part, of the spring of ’63, when JFK was privately saying the public wasn’t yet politically ready for a comprehensive civil rights bill,” Mr. There visitors can tour the Capitol, where King made the emotional speech that ends “Selma,” and see a monument and museum dedicated to civil rights martyrs.

The Civil Rights Memorial includes three victims featured in the movie, Jimmie Lee Jackson, who was shot by a state trooper; James Reeb, who was beaten by white segregationists, and Viola Liuzzo, who was shot by Klansmen while taking marchers back to Selma. Edgar Hoover send a sex tape of her husband to Coretta King. (Bobby Kennedy, as JFK’s attorney general, is the one who allowed Hoover to tap King.) The “Hey, it’s just a movie” excuse doesn’t wash.

Other sites include the Greyhound bus station where Freedom Riders seeking to integrate interstate transportation were beaten by a white mob in 1961, a museum commemorating Rosa Parks and the Montgomery Bus Boycott that King led in 1955, and the Dexter Avenue King Memorial Baptist Church, where King served as pastor before moving to Atlanta to lead the Southern Christian Leadership Conference. Filmmakers love to talk about their artistic license to distort the truth, even as they bank on the authenticity of their films to boost them at awards season. As I have written about “Lincoln,” “Zero Dark Thirty” and “Argo,” and as The New York Review of Books makes clear about “The Imitation Game,” the truth is dramatic and fascinating enough. DuVernay had plenty of vile white villains — including one who kicks a priest to death in the street — and they were no doubt shocking to the D.C. school kids.

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