The Teen Appeal

Giving truth to Memphis youth

Selma: Go and see history

By Michael Thomas (Carver High School)

Selma, Alabama: The setting and the basis around the box office joyride, “Selma.” This film covers a three-month time-frame in 1965 centered on voting rights of African-Americans.

Produced by Oprah Winfrey, Selma is a historical drama that follows the Selma to Birmingham civil rights march. Martin Luther King Jr., a prominent part of the Civil Rights Movement throughout the 60’s, goes down into Selma to lead another march that will change the course of history.


Played by David Oyelowo, Martin Luther King Jr., joined by the Southern Christian Leadership Conference and others, led a treacherous march from Selma to Birmingham. The Selma-based Student Nonviolence Coordinating Committee (SNCC) based in Selma joined in.  Everyone involved was aware of what was to happen if this march occurred. John Lewis (Stephan James) went on to be on the frontline of the march. King had multiple talks with then President, Lyndon B. Johnson (Tom Wilkinson). President Johnson tried to convince King not to conduct the march.

Marches began happening and more and more police brutality ensued. Alabama, still heavily segregated and racist, didn’t acknowledge the actions of its police force, they rather glorified the actions of their force.  A protest was held at a post office in Selma. Dr. King was told to move himself and the protestors from the area or else law enforcement would have to use force. They refused. Jimmie Lee Jackson was beaten with clubs. Annie Lee Cooper (Oprah Winfrey) notably punched a police officer.

The march landed at the end of the Edmund Pettus Bridge going into Birmingham. Dr. King held a prayer session then ultimately turned around and took the movement back to Selma. This caused confusion among the people.

All in all the film was nice in terms of deliverance and in terms of the cast. The cast was absolutely stunning. The movie was spot on with its historical fact, and had an all-star cast to play the parts. The impact of the film was deep and thought-provoking. It’s a vivid translation of what happened in 1965 during these marches.       This movie will be heavily talked about in the near future and far future as an instant classic and expert work of Oprah Winfrey and director Ava DuVernay. I would recommend this movie to anyone.


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