Remembering “Bloody Sunday” with its youngest participants
On March 7, 1965 8-year old Sheyann Webb-Christburg and 11-year old Joanne Bland joined hundreds of others in a civil rights march that was ultimately met with violence, in what came to be known as “Bloody Sunday.” The event shocked the national conscience and contributed to the passage of the Voting Rights Act of 1965. Now, 58 years later, Webb-Christburg and Bland reflect on that period and the continued struggle for justice.“Talking about this history and talking about my experience has been therapeutic,” says Bland. At the time, she says, “no one came to talk to us. No counselors, no physiatrists…So we internalized a lot, and all of it wasn’t good.” The experience turned Webb-Christburg and Bland into activists for life. “If you want to see change, you must be a part of change,” Webb-Christburg tells the students she now inspires.