Larnie’s BBQ, Selma. Massive portion of food in front of me—ribs, fried okra and sweet tea. I’m awed, though concerned about how I might continue cycling after filling my stomach so. The two pieces of white bread with the ribs so that I might make a sandwich are a nice touch.
I did the 90km from Montgomery in about three and a half hours. I am excited, partly because I’m eating delicious BBQ, but also because I will likely be able to put in another twenty or so miles today. I should arrive at Dale and Amanda’s in Gainesville tomorrow evening.
Selma has a rough history, as many southern towns have. I’m referring of course to racial discrimination and Jim Crow law, but Selma has a particularly storied past when it comes to the south and the civil rights movement.
Throughout the early twentieth century, before, during, and after both world wars Selma, as well as many southern cities and towns, enforced Jim Crow laws ruthlessly, and with violence if necessary. During the period after World War II there was a movement towards equal freedoms and rights for blacks (largely because it was due, but also because many fought in the war, so to come back after fighting for one’s country only to be treated as lesser than another because of one’s skin color was a slap in the face and a punch in the gut, and that’s putting it lightly) that only strengthened as the years went by and nothing was done. Essentially, among a number of smaller, though no less important, protests and acts of defiance by blacks across the south, this led to the the Selma to Montgomery marches, led in part by Martin Luther King Jr., and which are most well remembered for, aside from the successful march on the third attempt, the police brutality events of “Bloody Sunday” (the first attempt at the marches when local and county police accosted the marches at the Edmund Pettus Bridge, beating many of them with billy clubs, and throwing tear gas), and the killing of a white minister by members of the KKK the night after the second symbolic “march.” The third and final successful attempt at the march would eventually lead to the passing of the Selma Voting Rights Act of 1965, and laws that would give the same freedoms that whites enjoyed to blacks.