Leader Cantor Remarks On Bipartisan Resolution To Document The Role Of House Members In The Civil Rights Movement
March 1, 2012
Contact: Doug Heye, Megan Whittemore
202-225-4000

On March 7, 1965, in Selma, Alabama, now-Congressman John Lewis, our colleague, led 600 brave Americans in a march to protest for their equal right to vote like any other American. And they encountered horrific and despicable violence, preventing them from reaching their destination, the Capitol in Montgomery.

That day, now known as Bloody Sunday, set the stage for the landmark march to Montgomery, led by Reverend Martin Luther King and bolstered by faith and prayer. This act of leadership, courage and bravery culminated with Congress passing the Voting Rights Act of 1965, recognizing the right of every American to participate in our electoral process.

At that time, there were just six black Members of Congress. Today, I am proud to serve with 44 black colleagues. As Reverend King said, "the arc of the moral universe is long but it bends toward justice."

Today we will pass a resolution that will add the testimonies of Members of Congress, current and past, who participated in the Civil Rights Movement and commemorative events, to the historic record of the House.

Their stories are an important part of our nation’s heritage and will serve as a reminder to every American of the determination and sacrifice that shaped the stronger democracy we live in today.

I would like to thank Representative Terri Sewell who represents Selma, and Representative Martha Roby who represents Montgomery, for offering this resolution to preserve a powerful and transformative period in American history. I am extremely honored to work with Congressman Lewis to ensure that these stories will never be forgotten.