SELMA, Ala. (AP) — A historic Selma church that hosted the first mass meeting of the 1960s voting rights movement is receiving a $750,000 grant to help preserve the site.
Tabernacle Baptist Church in Selma is receiving the funding through a National Park Service grant program to preserve sites related to the struggle for equal rights in America. The church was the site of a May 14, 1963 mass meeting to galvanize support for the voting rights movement in the city.
The activism in Selma — including the 1965 Bloody Sunday march where peaceful demonstrators were beaten by white law enforcement officers — led to passage of the 1965 Voting Rights Act to eliminate legal barriers at the state and local level that prevented African Americans from exercising their right.
U.S. Rep. Terri Sewell’s office announced the grant.
“As the site of the first mass meeting of the 1960s Voting Rights Movement, this church remains a living testimony of those giants who fearlessly fought for freedom, equality, and justice for all,” Sewell said.