Circumstances

Barack Obama delivered his Selma speech on 7th of March, 2015, from the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Alabama, to commemorate fifty years since the Selma to Montgomery marche…

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The Selma to Montgomery marches

The Selma to Montgomery marches were three protest marches organized in  Alabama in 1965 by non-violent civil rights activists who wanted to express the desire of the African-American community to exercise their right to vote. The marches were planned to take place on the highway from Selma to the state capital of Montgomery. They were a response to discriminatory laws in the Southern states of the US that were used to prevent African-Americans from registering to vote and voting. The marches were also part of a larger movement for civil rights.

The first peaceful march took place on 7th of March, 1965. As the marchers passed over t…

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Circumstances at the time of the speech

Some of the circumstances at the time of the speech are briefly addressed by Obama. First, he speaks about the Department of Justice’s report on the Police Department in the city of Ferguson, Missouri. The report follows the killing of an unarmed, African-American 18-year-old named Michael Brown by Darren Wilson, a white police officer. The killing, which happened in 2014, sparked outrage and intense protests in the local community and across the nation and a discussion about police brutality against African Americans.

According to this report, the police and court practices in Ferguson had a…

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