Thousands of people, including stars of the Oscar-nominated film ‘Selma’, marched on Sunday in the Alabama town of the same name honoring Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., crossing a bridge where the late iconic civil rights leader had almost 50 years ago.
Participants made their way towards the Edmund Pettus Bridge. ‘Selma’ director Ava DuVernary, star David Oyelowo and Oprah Winfrey, who in the film plays a protestor who is denied her right to register to vote, were seen bowing in prayer during a ceremony at Selma City Hall. King had led his supporters in prayer during their demonstration on the same bridge in March 1965.
The film focuses on King’s rise to power as a civil rights leader, showing him at demonstrations that turn violent, preaching to supporters and urging President Lyndon Johnson to draft legislation to end racist policies in the South. The Voting Rights Act passed months after the Selma marches.
Winfrey spoke to NBC, “Look at what they were able to do with so little, and look at how we now have so much. If they could do that, imagine what now can be accomplished with the opportunity through social media and connection, the opportunity through understanding that absolutely we are more alike than we are different.”
King was assassinated at age 39 in 1968. He would have turned 86 last week. Monday marks the official Martin Luther King Jr. Day national holiday.
‘Selma’ is nominated for an Oscar for Best Picture and Best Original Song, ‘Glory’ by cast member Common and fellow music artist John Legend. They performed the track at Sunday’s event.