It was a dismal cold rainy day in Houston on Sunday morning but the girlfriends and I decided to bundle up to go see the movie Selma. In our opinion, rain only stops a picnic and nothing was going to prevent us from seeing Selma on its opening weekend. We wanted to be supportive for the number crunching that goes on for society’s determination of a successful movie but we felt the movie was already a success because it was providing a glimpse into our country’s historical past.
The movie was as moving as I expected giving me proud and tearful moments. I was a kid in the sixties but I remember the drama and trauma of the Civil Rights Movement. I remember my parents and extended family discussing Alabama’s governor – George Wallace – during that period and his name was synonymous with hate and evil in our household. So, to see this depiction of the events surrounding the march from Selma to Montgomery in 1965 was a revisit but this time from my adult point of view and with my adult emotions.
Overall, the movie was an enlightening experience as it gave us an inside view of how the diverse African-American activists of the day came together under the courageous leadership of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. to show our country and the world the plight of African-American citizens seeking their right to vote. I especially was proud that the movie emphasized the roles that strong women activists played in that particular march and in the entire Civil Right Movement. History has shown us that the events surrounding this march were pivotal in President Lyndon B. Johnson comprising and signing the Voting Rights Act of 1965 a few months later.
All of the portrayals of the actors were superb – David Oyelowo (Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.), Oprah Winfrey (Annie Lee Cooper), Carmen Ejogo (Coretta Scott King), Tim Roth (Governor George Wallace), and Tom Wilkinson (President Lyndon B. Johnson). I appreciate their dedication to their roles because it was evident in the manner in which they brought their characters to life for the audience and the way it evoked emotions from us all.
I know there is some criticism about this movie as there are usually around movies and books that shed a painful light on the true history of our country. I wish those that criticize these efforts will transfer their concerns to the whitewash that exists in the unreliable history books in our schools. Unless you are doing a self-study of American history, sometimes these types of movies are the only way to acquire some historical truths – which is really shameful.
This movie is highly recommended by the girlfriends and we suggest that you gather up some young people so they can learn another perspective of a moment that changed our society.