No fear. It seemed almost the mantra of the interviewees who took the stage to speak of their heroism during the Voting Rights March of 1965 at a recent program that will be nationally televised sometime in October. Court TV, National Public Radio and the Friends of the Selma to Montgomery National Historic Trail teamed up to bring about the program entitled "The 40th Anniversary of the Voting Rights Act: Past, Present and Future." The program, that had the feel of a town hall meeting, served as an installment of Court TV's "In Pursuit of Justice," "an ongoing public service and education initiative aimed at nurturing debate and raising awareness about important judicial issues while inspiring Americans to become active and engaged in the law and judicial system. The initiative combines the power of original programming and promotion with grassroots public service campaigns, civic partnerships and education resources."
Amelia Boynton Robinson, Reverend Joseph and Evelyn Lowery, Reverend F. D. Reese, Gwendolyn Patton, and other foot soldiers of the march shared their moments of violence and triumphs as active participants of the movement. The outcome of the efforts of these and other voting rights marchers lead to the passage of the 1965 Voting Rights Act, which allows "unfettered" access to the ballot for all voters-particularly African Americans, will expire in 2007 unless reauthorized by Congress and signed into law by the President. Mayor Bobby Bright of Montgomery, Alabama summed up what seemed to be the sentiment of the large crowd in attendance when he remarked, "It's unconscionable for me to think that we are still here trying to encourage Congress and the White House to ratify the Voting Rights Act as it was passed years ago. It should be permanent."