Democratic Rep. John Lewis thought he “was going to die” during a civil rights march across the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Alabama, 55 years ago. The congressman made the comments on March 1 at a commemoration event for the seminal protest.
Lewis suffered a skull fracture at the hands of white Alabama law enforcement officials during the 1965 protest, which came to be known as ‘Bloody Sunday’.
Standing in the middle of the bridge on Sunday, the Georgia congressman urged people to go out and vote “like we never, ever voted before.”
“We must use the vote as a nonviolent instrument or tool to redeem the soul of America,” he said.
The march has been commemorated in numerous events since 1965, including on the 50th anniversary — when then-US president Barack Obama led a memorial. Credit: Vanita Gupta via Storyful