Selma | The Bridge to the Ballot

Grade Level

On March 7, 1965, 600 civil rights activists left Selma, Alabama, on foot, marching for dignity and equality.

Eighteen days, 54 miles, one police attack, 1,900 National Guard troops, 2,000 U.S. Army soldiers and countless stories later, they arrived in Montgomery—and changed history.

This film tells the story of a courageous group of students and teachers who, along with other activists, fought a nonviolent battle to win voting rights for African Americans in the South. Standing in their way: a century of Jim Crow, a resistant and segregationist state, and a federal government slow to fully embrace equality. By organizing and marching bravely in the face of intimidation, violence, arrest and even murder, these change-makers achieved one of the most significant victories of the civil rights era.

The Selma-to-Montgomery legacy includes the sacrifices of young people whose history is seldom told. Share their stories with your students. 

"We didn't have a clue we were making history, we were just trying to correct wrongs, trying to make some wrongs right."

Bettie Mae Fikes

The Selma kit includes:

  • The documentary, Selma: The Bridge to the Ballot (40 minutes);
  • viewer's guide to help you plan how you'll teach about the Selma-to-Montgomery marches, the Voting Rights Act of 1965 and voting issues today;
  • A timeline of activities and events leading up to and following the marches;
  • A map of Alabama illustrated with locations significant to the voting rights struggle.

Want to know more? You can view the Selma: The Bridge to the Ballot trailer, experience an interactive timeline and learn more about voting issue here.