HAMMOND | Hammond Morton High School's Committee for the Promotion of African American History club performed an event in celebration of Black History Month. Teachers and sponsors for the club are Robert Hall and Julie Kopanda.
The students performed on stage for approximately 1,200 peers and classmates. The event was attended by Dr. Walter Watkins, superintendent at Hammond Public Schools.
The program was called "Forward-from Selma to the White House." It chronicled the three attempted marches from Selma, Ala. to Montgomery to protest the barriers African-American faced in the effort to vote.
Selma was the county seat where fifty-seven percent of those eligible to vote were African-American. Of the 15,000 voter age African-Americans only 130 were registered due poll taxes and unreasonable literacy test.
The first attempted march turned violent, several marchers were beaten. The march was shown in news reports all over the world. The day came to be known as "Bloody Sunday".
President Johnson made his famous speech "America's Promise." Ultimately with worldwide pressure the Voter Rights Bill of 1965 was passed which makes it illegal to impede a person's right to vote.
Today a black man is President of the United States; without the Voter Rights Bill, this might not have been possible. The history was presented in an entertaining way.