Day 19: Lynda Blackmon Lowery

Lynda Blackmon Lowery2014©Robin Cooper Photo Credit: Robin Cooper

On March 7, 1965, hundreds gathered at Selma’s Brown Chapel A.M.E. to push for voting rights and protest the state trooper killing of activist Jimmie Lee Jackson. They united for a days-long march to Montgomery, Alabama. But at the end of Selma’s Edmund Pettus bridge, they faced terror and violence. A wall of troopers, deputies and others rained blows on the peaceful marchers and flooded them with tear gas. That horrific day was called Bloody Sunday. Lynda Blackmon Lowery was the youngest person there. Her memoir, Turning 15 on the Road to Freedom: My Story of the Selma Voting Rights March (Dial, 2015), is her testimony.

The oldest of four children, Lowery grew up in a loving, close-knit black community where everyone helped and looked out for each other. But though she felt safe at George Washington Carver Homes, the ugliness of racism was all around her hometown of Selma. “When my mother died,” she recounts in the book, “I heard…

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