Tuesday marks 52 years since Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.) helped lead the historic march from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama, in demand of voting rights for black Americans.
In a series of tweets Tuesday, Lewis reflected on the demonstration that took place March 7, 1965, which was eventually written into history books as “Bloody Sunday” ― known as one of the most brutal assaults against peaceful protestors in modern American history. State troopers, most of them white, left nearly 600 activists bloody and beaten as they crossed the Edmund Pettus Bridge in a march led by Lewis, then chairman of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, which had helped organize the demonstration.
Though officers attacked demonstrators with batons and tear gas, two subsequent marches for voting rights followed same path from Selma to Montgomery, and both were led by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. himself. However, Lewis has always recalled Bloody Sunday in particular as a protest that presented to him both great challenges and unforgettable lessons on life and activism.
Read his moving account of the march below in the tweets he posted Tuesday with the hashtag #Selma52: