‘Selma’ is historical and timely, say Hampton U. students

By Trayonna Hendricks

The historical drama "Selma" was released on Jan. 9 to all theaters in the United States. The story of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and the epic march from Selma to Montgomery, Ala., managed to touch many who watched the film.

On Hampton University's campus, viewers gave their perspectives of the film. Peter Savadge, a sophomore history major from Surry, Va., said, "After viewing 'Selma,' as with other cinema portrayals of major historic events, I left the theater with a greater appreciation of these events, their significance today and all parties involved."

Phillip Jackson, a journalism major from Maryland, said, "I feel like 'Selma' came out right on time. It came out in a time where we're seeing police brutality nationalized. 'Selma' shows at least one perspective of many different ways African Americans fought for the equal rights we have as people in the past."

Jelisa Sinn-Brasswell, a tutor coordinator in the Student Support Service office, was one of the first, said "the film 'Selma' reminds me as a country we still have a lot of growing to do. We're not as perfect as we think we are when it comes to prejudice, discrimination, and the like."

For some, the film brings back vivid memories causing them relive moments of their life from that time. Sociology Professor Herbert Townsend said, "I remember watching the march on television. I remember the bombing in Birmingham, Ala. I remember seeing the freedom writers being hosed. You know what it really brought back was the fact that, that America no longer exists, but the America that does exist now, potentially is far more deadly."

History Professor and Assistant to the Dean Robert Watson said "Selma" reminded him of when he marched along with his fellow companions in Mississippi. He said they too were suffering from similar injustices. When asked if he felt the film would inspire people to take action towards our own issues, Watson said, "I am not so optimistic of the film inspiring more people to suddenly take action, but I am optimistic enough to believe if the film was used as a resource in the school systems, it will certainly make a difference."

On Monday, Jan. 26, the Hampton Citizens Unity Commission will be hosting a free viewing of "Selma," and the evening will conclude with an open mic to hear the response of the community.

The writer is a student in the Scripps Howard School of Journalism and Communications.

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