Georgia Congressman John Lewis said President Obama likely wouldn’t have been elected President if it weren’t for the historic march in Selma, Ala., that he helped lead as a student organizer 50 years ago.
“If it hadn’t been for that march across Edmund Pettus Bridge on Bloody Sunday, there would be no Barack Obama as President of the United States of America,” Lewis said during an interview on CBS’s Face the Nation.
In his last election, President Obama received over 90% of the black vote. Some 50 years ago, Lewis was among the many civil rights leaders marching and advocating to make those votes possible.
On March 7, 1965, hundreds of nonviolent protesters marched across the bridge as a part of an ongoing effort to secure voting rights for black Americans. That day, though, Alabama police met the protesters with violent force. Many, including Lewis, suffered serious injury. “I don’t think as a group we had any idea that our marching feet would have such an impact 50 years later,” Lewis said Sunday.