The producers of Selma have teamed up with Black business leaders from around the country for an unprecedented initiative to give students free access to the Oscar-nominated film. So far, nearly 100,000 middle schoolers have taken advantage of the program in cities like New York, Atlanta, Miami and New Orleans, BET reports.
Due to popular demand, many more cities have been added to the program and nearly 120,000 tickets made available. To get their free ticket, students in the 7th, 8th or 9th grade can show their student ID or report card at any of the participating theaters. For a complete list of cities and theaters, visit SelmaStudentsTickets.com.
The expansion has been inspired by the overwhelming success of the program in New York City, in which 27 African-American business leaders created a fund for 27,000 of the city’s 7th, 8th and 9th grade students to see the film for free. That effort sold out in the very first weekend.
Today, August 28th, 2013 commemorates the 50th Anniversary of one of the most famous marches and speeches ever witnessed, listened to and participated in during a Civil Rights Movement that took place in Washington, DC.
During that 1963 march, over 200,000 people from all walks of life participated in this gathering to let it be known throughout the United States and even the World at large that oppression, bigotry, hatred and murder of a people that just wanted the same rights as others was intolerable.
In fact, the Civil Rights Movement of 1963 had some of the exact parallels of the Moral Mondays Movement that has derived from some of the same oppressive, bigoted, hateful legislation being passed by the GOP and Republican lawmakers in North Carolina.
When Supreme Court Justice John Roberts so blindly changed the outcome of the Voters Rights Act in a surprising decision back in June of this year, the Republican Party throughout this country has begun changing their voting laws at state levels to ‘tip the scale’ in their favor for upcoming and ongoing elections.
In Texas, Ohio and North Carolina, the governors of these states and the Legislators in the state houses that are Republican run, have passed legislation to change the way Americans have voted for decades. In North Carolina alone, Gov. Pat McCrory and the NCGOP have formulated the New Voter I.D. Law, overturned students being able to Vote in the college city they live in, ended Early Voting and have closed several voting locations in many locations in the name of being more “efficient”.
Also in North Carolina, teachers are under assault with this current government in place. Wages have been cut and raises are obsolete. As educators of our children, they are deserving of the benefits and salary that should be awarded to them, but this governor and NCGOP legislators don’t seem to agree. Because of the extreme measures being inflicted on some of the teachers in North Carolina, many have decided to leave the profession all together unfortunately to pursue other employment in other states.
Continuing on the extreme, Gov. McCrory and the NCGOP sliced the Unemployment Benefits from a maximum of $535 a week to $350 max and the Unemployment Length of benefit life from 26-weeks to 13-weeks. With North Carolina ranked as the 5th highest state for unemployment, this Republican-led administration found it necessary to cut benefits to many middle class and low income families. Many layoffs and companies closing their doors have resulted in an influx of unemployment applications but as of July 1st of this year, this administration in North Carolina has turned its back on thousands from the coastal to the mountains.
The Dream Lives On though. Because of the extremism of the North Carolina, Texas and Ohio legislative moves; Abortion issues, Women’s Rights, Marriage Equality, Voter’s Rights, Students Rights, Teachers Rights, protests have been a recurring event. Chicago recently joined the fray with a protest against ALEC (American Legislative Exchange Council). This group, which claims to be non-partisan, has been the spearhead and backbone to many of the statewide legislative twist and turns that have been executed at the state level.
Take note: Texas, Ohio and North Carolina Governors and State Legislators have passed the Same laws over the past three months. ALEC has designed a form of legislative format outlined to generate an extreme level of government beginning at the state level. It is passed through the Republican-led administration and will pass. Remember though, this is Supposed to be a non-partisan group yet every bill that has passed has had opposition from across the aisle.
We won’t give up the fight though. Just as Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. spoke at the March on Washington in 1963, “I Have A Dream”, I too have a Dream along with Millions of other Americans throughout this Great Nation. The Dream is a United Country throwing out the Extreme Legislators in our respective states. The Dream is tossing the Hate Mongers in power out of office. The Dream is letting the Governors, the Mayors, the City Council that has been endorsed by ALEC and Tea Party affiliates, your days are Numbered and your Time is Up!
Come 2014, local elections take place. I urge everyone to register to vote if you haven’t. I urge everyone to become Active in the political movement and Stay Engaged and Stay Aware of what is going on in Your Local Government and Community. Finally, Come 2016, the National Election! Vote America! Remember, there were many that died during the 1960’s just so We could have this Very Right. And now, many on the Republican side are attempting to take that right from Us again. Don’t Let It Happen! Keep the Dream Alive. Make Sure the Dream Lives On!