Alex Heldrich, Reporter
Sociology students and those with an interest in civil rights gathered to watch Selma on April 19 in the Multipurpose Room in the College Center. The room was filled with attentive eyes, as students learned about Martin Luther King Jr. and his famous walk from Selma, Ala. to Montgomery, Ala. in protest of the suffrage for black citizens.
The event was hosted by T.J. Estes, equity and diversity coordinator for the Office of Student Life. Selma is an important film to Estes.
“Students who don’t really know about the civil rights struggle and voter oppression are the main people I wanted to focus on,” Estes said. “This is because it’s still happening today, so this movie is like a hop back in time.”
What Estes is referring to is state leaders making changes to election rules regarding who can vote. According to The New York Times, recently a North Carolina federal judge began enforcing stricter voter identification laws. This heavily Republican-backed change makes it more difficult for minority groups to vote.
“We’re going to relate the content in the movie back to today’s world,” Estes said. “There’s voter oppression today and a lot of places in the south are closing down voter registration in the Department of Licensing, so it’s making it a lot more difficult because there’s also more stringent requirements to be able to vote. It makes me think directly back to the ‘50s and ‘60s.”
Students filled out a discussion form with their table groups after the movie. One of the questions asked, “Where do you think we stand today on the issue of civil rights?” Students were asked to discuss the question with their group and then write answers down on a piece of paper. Another question asked was, “Do you think there is still voter suppression today in the U.S.?” The last question that students answered was, “What is King’s legacy?”
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