By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter
US Representative Martha Roby (R-Montgomery) announced in an email to constituents that the House is likely to vote on awarding a Congressional Gold Medal to the participants in the historic Selma to Montgomery march for Civil Rights this week.
Congresswoman Martha Roby wrote, “This week the House will vote to award a Congressional Gold Medal to honor the civil rights activists who participated in the voting rights marches from Selma to Montgomery in 1965. The Congressional Gold Medal is the highest civilian honor Congress can bestow, and these individuals are more than deserving. The legislation that I’ve co-sponsored with my colleague Rep. Terri Sewell (D-Selma) comes to the floor as we near the 50th anniversary of Bloody Sunday.”
Rep. Roby hosted a special Congressional screening of the movie “Selma” with Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-California), Rep. Terri Sewell (D-Selma), and Rep. John Lewis (D-Georgia). Congressman Lewis participated in the march 50 years ago and is a main character in the movie. Rep. Roby said that Rep. Lewis gave a moving account of what it was like to have lived during those seminal days in Selma.
Representative Roby said, “The 50th Anniversary is such a fitting time for us to honor the legacy of the brave individuals who, against brutality and oppression, took a stand for their God-given rights. Their courage in part served as a catalyst for the Voting Rights Act of 1965 and for change, not just for Alabama, but the entire nation.”
Rep. Roby said, “This March a group of my colleagues and I will be participating in the annual pilgrimage to commemorate the brave efforts of activists at Bloody Sunday. I am proud to serve as a co-host of the Faith and Politics Institute’s Bipartisan Congressional Civil Rights Pilgrimage to Alabama, and I am recruiting more GOP Representatives and Senators to be a part of it this year.”
In 2013, Vice President Joe Biden visited Selma as part of the 13th Annual Faith and Politics Institute’s Congressional Civil Rights Pilgrimage to Alabama. The Pilgrimage is co-hosted by US Representative Terri Sewell (D) who is a native of Selma. Selma is part of Congresswoman Sewell’s Seventh District and is where she grew up and where her parents still live.
This year President Barack H. Obama is expected to visit the small Black Belt town which played such a pivotal role in the Civil Rights Movement.
Rep. Sewell said in a statement last year, “Our district is home to many of our nation’s historic civil rights sites. I believe it is important that we must acknowledge our painful past and frame its significance in the global fight for civil and human rights. Hosting the bi-partisan delegation will give us the opportunity to reflect on our painful past while acknowledging our current progress. I hope my colleagues will leave Alabama with a renewed sense of purpose and commitment to promoting our shared democratic values of justice and equality.”