COLONIE, N.Y. – The Underground Railroad Project organized an advanced screening of the movie “Selma” at Colonie Center on Tuesday.
The film had a limited release over the Christmas holiday, so reviews have been out for a while, but many were still anxious to see one of the most significant victories in the Civil Rights Movement be acted out on screen.
The movie was produced by multimedia mogul Oprah Winfrey and is based on the 1965 march from Selma, Alabama to Montgomery, Alabama. The 54-mile walk was led by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and secured equal voting rights for everyone.
The Underground Railroad Project hosted an advanced screening Tuesday as they prepare for the 50th anniversary of the Voting Rights Act.
“It has an impact on who we are, what we do, and how we behave and interact with each other today,” Underground Railroad Project cofounder Mary Liz Stewart said.
But the movement came at a cost. The first protest on March 7, 1965 has been named “Bloody Sunday” after marchers were met with violent opposition.
Carl McCall is the chairman of the SUNY Albany Board of Trustees. He said he vividly remembered the message from Selma and hopes the film will remind others of what people went through for the right to vote.
“In terms of the people who suffered and who even died trying to get that right to vote, we have to say to people today, this is a very precious tool,” he said.
Many of the movie goers said the historical movement is still relevant to today’s events, and they hope it’ll get more people talking about change after it hits the big screen.
“People coming together really to have the dialogue,” Yomika Bennett, honorary committee chair, said. “To set things in the course we want to go towards in the future.”
The film chronicles events leading up to the march on Montgomery and details how Dr. King and his brothers and sisters changed history.
The movie is slated for release everywhere on Friday, January 9.