Ala. Senate Votes To Rename Historic Selma Bridge
The Alabama Senate voted to rename Selma’s Edmund Pettus Bridge on Wednesday, according to the Montgomery Adviser.
The bridge is the site of 1965’s Bloody Sunday and the historic march from Selma to Montgomery. The resolution would rename the 75-year-old structure the Journey to Freedom Bridge.
The resolution, sponsored by Sen. Hank Sanders (D-Selma), follows a grassroots movement by a group called Students UNITE to rename the bridge. The group collected 180,000 signatures on change.org in an effort to rename the landmark.
“There are many things in our society to change that are more significant than the name of a bridge, but removing this vestige of the past will serve as a parallel to the ongoing journey towards equal rights, fair representation and open opportunity,” the resolution says.
The resolution still needs to be approved by the state’s House of Representatives and Gov. Robert Bentley. The Legislature has just two more days to meet before June 15, although the session could end as early as Thursday.
House Rules Chairman Mac McCutcheon (R-Huntsville), sets the calendars for bills and resolutions. He said the measure will not go before the House on Thursday.
“A lot of House members that have come to me about that resolution,” he said. “Their comments are ‘Why would we want to change a piece of history in our state?'”
Sanders said a debate about whether or not to name the bridge after individuals involved in Bloody Sunday took place after the vote.
“They resolved among themselves that the bridge stood for freedom,” Sanders said.
The bridge is currently named after Edmund Pettus, a Confederate general during the civil war and Grand Dragon of the Alabama Ku Klux Klan.
Perhaps the country can benefit from a name change that does not honor a man who promoted racism and oppression against Blacks.