Picturing Freedom: Selma-to-Montgomery March, 1965

Photography is a small voice, at the best sometimes-just sometimes-one photograph or a group of them can lure our senses into awareness…

W. Eugene Smith, photojournalist and Karales's mentor

Why did thousands march over 50 miles through cold, Alabama rain in 1965? In this lesson, students learn about the Selma-to-Montgomery voting rights march. After analyzing photojournalist James Karales's iconic photograph of the march, reading background material on it, and considering what the marchers might have thought and felt, students write and illustrate a postcard describing this civil rights event from a marcher's viewpoint.

Guiding Questions

How does James Karales's photograph indicate the spirit and significance of the 1965 Selma-to-Montgomery, Alabama, voting rights march?

Learning Objectives

At the end of this lesson, students will be able to: Explain the role of photojournalists and media in the passage of the Voting Rights Act of 1965,

Describe how this photograph captures the spirit of the 1960's civil rights movement