This Historic Civil Rights City Is One Of The Poorest In America

edmund pettus bridge
L. Graciella Maiolatesi
April 25, 2022

The crowd sighed during Vice President Harris’ speech – they’d heard similar speeches before. Countless politicians have attended the annual Jubilee in Selma, AL honoring activists who risked everything for Civil Rights. 

Selma is a Civil RIghts Movement icon. So why is it forgotten by politicians the rest of the year?

Throughout the 1990s Selma’s white population re-segregated to nearby areas, taking resources with them. Now, 80% of Selma’s population is Black, and families barely survive on 40% of the national average income. 

Selma’s unemployment rate is double the national rate, and its 2022 budget is only $21 million. Cullman, a nearby mostly-white city similar in population, has a $182 million budget!

If it weren’t for Selma’s Bloody Sunday protesters, the Voting Rights Act of 1965 may never have been passed. Sadly, voter discrimination is still common.

Worse, the Senate recently failed to change rules that would allow the 2022 John Lewis Voting Rights Act to pass. A sad reminder that most of America’s politicians don’t have a Black agenda.

Selma’s local organizers will no longer accept crumbs from those passing through, and are arguing that politicians should arrive ready with a check – to put money up along with their smiles and speeches.

We must not be duped by strategic smoke-and-mirrors politicians use to distract us from knowing our worth – and demanding it.

We have a quick favor to ask:

PushBlack is a nonprofit dedicated to raising up Black voices. We are a small team but we have an outsized impact:

  • We reach tens of millions of people with our BLACK NEWS & HISTORY STORIES every year.
  • We fight for CRIMINAL JUSTICE REFORM to protect our community.
  • We run VOTING CAMPAIGNS that reach over 10 million African-Americans across the country.

And as a nonprofit, we rely on small donations from subscribers like you.

With as little as $5 a month, you can help PushBlack raise up Black voices. It only takes a minute, so will you please ?

Share This Article: