President Joe Biden delivers powerful message at Selma Bridge Crossing Jubilee

Published 4:14 pm Sunday, March 5, 2023

President Joe Biden delivered a powerful speech at the Selma Bridge Crossing Jubilee on Sunday at the Songs of Selma Park.

Under a bright sun, an overflow crowd roared as a big part of Biden’s speech revolved around the City of Selma suffering through two tragedies: “Bloody Sunday, 1965” and the tornado on January 12.

Biden said he admired the job of Perkins, a three-term Mayor. In 2000, Perkins was the first African-American Mayor of Selma.

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“I told Mayor Perkins that being Mayor is the toughest job in the nation,” Biden said. “One Mayor who helped me was (former Atlanta Mayor) Keisha Lance Bottoms.”

Biden praised the courage and determination of Selma’s Amelia Boynton and John Lewis for overcoming beatings on March 7, 1965, a day historically known as “Bloody Sunday,” which eventually led to the Voting Rights Act of 1965.”

“I can still picture the batons and whips,” Biden said. “They forced the country to confront the hard truth and to act to keep the promise of America alive. Selma is a reckoning.

“The right to vote and to have your vote counted is the threshold of democracy and liberty.With it, anything’s possible. Without it, without that right, nothing is possible. And this fundamental right remains under assault.”

Biden also told the audience about his discussion with Selma Mayor James Perkins Jr. and U.S. Rep. Terri Sewell about rebuilding the Queen City from the tornado.

“I talked with the Mayor and Sewell about the devastating tornado that devastated Selma,” Biden said. “That’s why I was quick to sign the disaster declaration. Selma was a reckoning. We’ll be here as long as it takes.”

It was Biden’s third appearance in Selma for the Bridge Crossing Jubilee. Biden attended in 2013 as the Vice-President and three years ago as a Presidential candidate, which he eventually won.

Other Presidents who attended the Bridge Crossing Jubilee since 2000 were: Bill Clinton (2000), George W. Bush (2015) and Barack Obama (2015).