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Civil Rights Activist Shares Stories of Historic Alabama Marches with Syracuse School Students

Leo Tully/WAER News

Students at Ed Smith School kicked off Black History Month with a visit from a Civil Rights activist today.  Alice Moore was an active participant in the historic march from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama as well as two other 1965 marches when she was 16 years-old.  Education Commissioner Mark Muhammad introduced the young crowd to Alice Moore and showed his appreciation for her contribution to advance the civil rights movement in America.

“  And so we owe Alice Moore and others a lot for the world that we live in today.  And the way we pay that debt is not by celebrations and accolades.  The way we celebrate is to give back. The way we give back is to pay it forward.”  

Moore focused most of her presentation on the story of the marches themselves.  She discussed one incident of violence during what’s known as ‘Bloody Sunday’ on the Edmund Pettus Bridge, where police brutally attacked protestors.

… came up us with the whips, with the clubs and the tear gas.  A lot of my friends got beaten or hit in the head with the billy clubs.  I did not get hit or either get a whip but, I did get overcome with tear gas.”

Moore also shared many positive messages with students.  She strongly emphasized the importance of voting.

Credit John Smith/WAERNews
Ed Smith dancers perform during the presentation

“It feels very good to participate in voting.  The only thing that I add to what we did and when we’re telling people to vote, make sure they register, make sure they vote.  And then we also tell them to make sure your vote counts.  So make sure you know what you’re voting for and who you’re voting for.”

She urges Americans to continue to fight for their rights.  During Black History month, Ed Smith School is displaying large posters of U-S postage stamps with historic African Americans including singer Ella Fitzgerald and Dr. Martin Luther King.

Credit Leo Tully/WAER News
A banner appears on stage celebrating Black History Month.