By WVUA 23 Web Writer Tyler Tucker
Sunday marked the 52nd anniversary of the march across the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma. Thousands participated in the re-enactment of a key element in the Civil Rights Movement, walking hand-in-hand across the bridge.
Angel Cardona is from Selma and has attended the re-enactment for several years.
“With the re-enactment every year, it kind of just reinforces what we take for granted through our everyday lives. It just kind of teaches me. And every year I come back, I try to bring more people with me so that they can learn more so as I do,” she said.
Rev. Jesse Jackson spoke before the march started, emphasizing the importance of the Voting Rights Act of 1965.
“I think we should have automatic voters’ rights at age 18,” Jackson said. He said he believes in a wider range of rights than voters are currently allowed by federal and state law.
“Make voting easy. Let the winners win and losers lose,” he said.
Sheila Riviera is 63 and remembers the Selma march.
“I grew up in a military family. I went to base school, so integration was not new to me, and when my father died we moved back down here and I was appalled,” she said.
Riviera thinks tensions now are worse than they were 52 years ago.
“Fifty years later, we know better now. We are more aware of the things that have happened because of their skin color,” she said.