Vice President Harris to mark 'Bloody Sunday' anniversary in Selma

Vice President Kamala Harris speaks to the National Governors Association as Utah Gov. Spencer Cox looks on during an event in the East Room of the White House, Friday, Feb. 23, 2024, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci) (Evan Vucci, Copyright 2024 The Associated Press. All rights reserved)

WASHINGTON – Vice President Kamala Harris will travel to Selma, Alabama, on Sunday to commemorate the 59th anniversary of a landmark civil rights moment.

Harris will speak as part of the annual remembrance of “Bloody Sunday,” on the bridge where, on March 7, 1965, white state troopers attacked Black voting rights marchers attempting to cross.

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The images of violence at the Edmund Pettus Bridge — originally named for a Confederate general — shocked the nation and helped galvanize support for passage of the Voting Rights Act, which struck down impediments to voting by African-Americans and ended all-white rule in the American South.

White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre announced Harris' upcoming visit during a briefing with reporters on Tuesday. Harris attended the remembrance in 2022, and President Joe Biden visited last year. Both used their past speeches to stress the importance of voting rights and decry what they called Republican-led efforts to undermine them.

The annual commemoration has become a regular stop for politicians to pay homage to the fight for voting rights in America and to court Black voters in election years.

During the 2020 election, Biden spoke at Selma's historic Brown Chapel AME Church hours after strong support from Black voters in South Carolina lifted Biden to his first primary victory. He also visited the city as vice president in 2013.

President Barack Obama in 2015 spoke in Selma to mark the 50th anniversary of the 1965 marches.

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