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Selma, Lord, Selma

Selma, Lord, Selma

Selma, Lord, Selma is a 1999 American made-for-television biographical drama film based on true events that happened in March 1965, known as Bloody Sunday in Selma, Alabama. The film tells the story through the eyes of an 11-year-old African-American girl named Sheyann Webb (Jurnee Smollett). It was directed by Charles Burnett, one of the pioneers of black American independent cinema. It premiered as a television movie on ABC on January 17, 1999.

Plot

Sheyann Webb sees Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. going into Brown Chapel AME Church one day while playing outside with her friends. They are told that Dr. King has come to Selma, Alabama to help the Negro people get voting rights. Sheyann learns many things from Dr. King. He teaches her and her friend Rachel (Stephanie Zandra Peyton) that when asked, "Children, what do you want?" their answer should be "Freedom." He also teaches her that everyone deserves to be treated with fairness, regardless of the color of their skin, and that children also have a battle to fight. Sheyann wants to get involved and skips school to sneak into the meetings. One night a friend of Sheyann's named Jimmie Lee Jackson is killed. To draw attention to the death of Jimmie Lee Jackson, it is decided that a 54-mile march to the state capital of Alabama will take place. Marchers will present a petition to Governor Wallace to protest that Negroes are not being treated fairly. On Sunday, March 7, 1965, a day that comes to be called Bloody Sunday, Sheyann and other African-American protesters march over the Edmund Pettus Bridge en route to Montgomery, and are attacked by police. Sheyann is the youngest person to attempt to march.