In the Obama administration’s efforts to highlight the significance of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, President Obama will visit the small town of Selma, Alabama on March 7th, White House officials reported on Tuesday.
The law, signed by President Lyndon B. Johnson on August 6, 1965, banned literacy test and other methods used throughout the country, mainly in the South, that disenfranchised African Americans. Before the law was signed into office, Martin Luther King, Jr. and other civil rights leaders led marches from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama in an effort to gain national attention in their fight for all Americans to have the right to vote.
On January 16th, President Obama hosted a screening of the movie Selma, which focuses on the Civil Rights Movement leading up to the signing of the Voting Rights Act. Cast members including Oprah Winfrey, Common, David Oyelowo and others were invited. Democratic U.S. Representative John Lewis of Georgia, whose work as a civil rights marcher was highlighted in the film, was also invited.