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by Erin Z. Bass If there's one town that's worked its way onto my radar since I started Deep South, it's Selma, Alabama. Located in the Black Belt region on the banks of the Alabama River and west of Montgomery, Selma is mostly known for the part it played in the Civil Rights Movement. In the University of Alabama Press's recent book "Alabama's Civil Rights: An Illustrated Guide To The Cradle of Freedom" by Frye Gaillard there's a whole chapter on Selma and the right to vote. The chapter begins, "In the winter and spring of 1965, Selma emerged as the decisive battleground in the struggle for black voting rights in the South." Activists in Selma had been working to register black voters since the 1930s, so by the time Martin Luther King Jr. came to town in 1965 to lead voting rights protests, the community was ready. In March, demonstrators began marching to Edmund Pettus Bridge, where they were blocked and beaten by state troopers. This day became known as "Bloody Sunday" and the marchers' attempt as the precursor for the now-famous Selma to Montgomery March. Two weeks later, on March 21, more than 20,000 marchers set out for Montgomery again,

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