Selma, Lord, Selma


selmalordselmaSelma, Lord, Selma: Girlhood Memories of the Civil-Rights Days is based on journalist Frank Sikora’s interviews with eight-year-old Sheyann Webb and nine-year-old Rachel West about their fight for voting rights in Selma, Alabama. For three turbulent months in 1965, the girls were caught up in the tumult of the civil rights demonstrations in Selma, Alabama.

The Selma-to-Montgomery march, “Bloody Sunday,” and the other events that preceded them, are landmarks of the Civil Rights Movement. Sheyann Webb’s and Rachel West Nelson’s “girlhood memories” capture the fervor of the movement in Alabama, the quiet heroism and high courage, and the stark, pervasive fear it engendered.

This story is not a chronicle of the Civil Rights Movement in Selma; neither is it a day-to-day report on the lives of the two girls. Rather, it is the recollection of some memorable events of striking importance in their lives. That these events were also for considerable importance to all Americans, millions of whom were on lookers through the medium of television, is perhaps incidental, but this national awareness does make their stirring account a significant contribution to the history of the Civil Rights Movement.

Credit: By Sheyann Webb and Rachel West Nelson. Published by University Alabama Press, 1997.