British actor David Oyelowo , Oprah Winfrey and other stars of Selma have marched with thousands of people in Alabama, United States of America, (USA) in honour of Martin Luther King Jr’s birthday.
The film’s director Ava DuVernay and Oscar-nominated rapper Common also participated in the day-long event to commemorate King’s civil rights leadership.
The march marked the 50th anniversary of the campaign leading up to the historic march from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama, and the subsequent passage of the 1965 Voting Rights Act.
Law enforcement officers used clubs and tear gas on 7 March, 1965 to try and stop marchers from walking some 50 miles to Montgomery, to seek the right for blacks to register to vote.
A new march, led by Martin Luther King Jr, began 21 March of that year and arrived in Montgomery days later with a crowd of 25,000. Sunday’s group walked to the Edmund Pettis Bridge, where the 1965 march began.
Winfrey is a producer of the movie and portrays civil rights activist Annie Lee Cooper. “Every single person who was on that bridge is a hero,” she told the marchers. Oyelowo, who played Dr King, honoured the American civil rights leader and thanked the Selma movement.
Selma is nominated for best film at this year’s Academy Awards which take place on 22 February. John Legend and Common’s song Glory is nominated in the best original song category.