An Unexpected Personal Encounter With History

As we walked across the famous Edmund Pettus Bridge, I reflected on the events that happened there 44 years prior. Staring off into the Alabama River that runs below the bridge, I came across Richard Perry, a 55-year-old black man who participated in the peaceful march following Bloody Sunday. As the world learned of the horrible event, thousands of people from all over, many being college students, quickly responded to Dr. King’s call for peaceful demonstration through another attempt to cross the bridge to Montgomery.

Richard Perry and Angela walking across the Edmund Pettus Bridge, location of "Bloody Sunday" that happened on March 7, 1965. Photo credit Bianca De Castro

Richard Perry and Angela walking across the Edmund Pettus Bridge, location of "Bloody Sunday" that happened on March 7, 1965. Photo credit Bianca De Castro

At 11-years-old, Perry’s father encouraged him to go attend the marches and be as involved in the movement as he was. “My father was very active in the movement”. His father actively participated in marches and attended local NAACP and SNCC meetings. His father was also very aware of the dangers involved with participating in those marches. “I was not allowed to participate in the march on Bloody Sunday. My father knew that the police would not allow the marchers to proceed“. Perry went on to say that he believed the tragic events happened on that Sunday as an attempt to manifest Birmingham Police sheriff Wilson Baker’s “master plan”. That plan was to keep blacks from voting.

On the current racial climate in Selma, AL Perry believes that it has improved quite a bit. “People have gotten past those events, but they have not forgotten them.”

Angela interviewing Richard Perry on the Edmund Pettus Bridge. Photo credit Bianca De Castro

Angela interviewing Richard Perry on the Edmund Pettus Bridge. Photo credit Bianca De Castro

Speaking with Mr. Perry was very enlightening and heart warming. When I asked if I could use his name, he was more than happy to do so. It is quite refreshing to know that the people whose efforts weren’t placed in the history books are just as important as the individuals they supported.

Peace and Blessings,

Angela A. Hughes

 

 

 

Advertisements

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s