Members of Congress make civil rights pilgrimage in Alabama

Civil Rights Memorial in Montgomery, AL

Dozens of members of Congress are making a weekend-long civil rights pilgrimage through Alabama, visiting historic spots and memorials to the struggle for racial equality.

Posted: Mar 2, 2019 12:21 PM

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — Dozens of members of Congress are making a weekend-long civil rights pilgrimage through Alabama, visiting historic spots and memorials to the struggle for racial equality.
The mostly Democratic group made its first stop Friday at Birmingham's 16th Street Baptist Church, where four black girls died in a Ku Klux Klan bombing in 1963. They then toured a Montgomery memorial to thousands of lynching victims and a museum that traces the journey from enslavement through the fight for civil rights to issues of today.
Rep. John Lewis of Georgia, who was once beaten by Alabama troopers while trying to march for voting rights, walked slowly through the National Memorial for Peace and Justice. He paused to read the names of victims and the location and year of the lynching. Some, he noted, were from around the time his father was born in 1910 and when he was born in 1940.
Lewis described the memorial and museum as "deeply" moving.
The group is also scheduled to visit Selma, where Lewis was beaten on the Edmund Pettus Bridge in 1965. He said he hopes the trip gives people a greater understanding of the past by "walking through history."
"To tell the story of our struggle and our history, and it's informing people that despite of all of the progress that we've made that we still have so far to go," Lewis said.
At 16th Street Baptist Church, delegation members applauded a handful of civil rights veterans as they stood in the sanctuary and then watched a play depicting the lives of the bombing victims. Lewis posed for a photo with the young cast members.
Alabama Democratic Sen. Doug Jones, a former U.S. attorney who prosecuted two of the three KKK members convicted in the church bombing years later, discussed those cases — and the changes in Alabama since — after the performance.
"You can never close those chapters. We have to understand and learn in today's world," Jones said. The internet has contributed to a new rise in hate groups, he said.
House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, making his 15th trip with the group, used the stop in Birmingham to say Democrats next week would bring to the floor a bill to guarantee voting rights and make other changes long favored by Democrats.
"Voting is at the heart of our Democracy," said Hoyer.
GOP Rep. Bradley Byrne, who is challenging Jones next year, called voting rights a bipartisan issue and said a larger share of Republicans than Democrats supported key civil rights legislation in the 1960s.
Alabama Rep. Terri Sewell is sponsoring a proposal to restore a provision of the Voting Rights Act that was struck down by the Supreme Court in 2013. The section required states with a history of voter discrimination to get election changes pre-approved by the Justice Department.
The annual civil rights trip is sponsored by the Faith and Politics Institute.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 35419

Reported Deaths: 1230
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Hinds290851
DeSoto190019
Madison144638
Jones120349
Harrison113616
Rankin108715
Neshoba104577
Forrest99343
Lauderdale96381
Scott81915
Jackson77519
Washington72213
Copiah65315
Leake63520
Lee61222
Oktibbeha61128
Grenada5949
Warren59421
Holmes58641
Wayne56218
Yazoo5536
Lowndes54813
Lamar5347
Leflore53156
Lincoln52935
Pike49920
Lafayette4974
Sunflower4778
Monroe45635
Panola4486
Covington4355
Bolivar40518
Simpson3933
Attala38424
Newton37510
Tate35213
Adams35120
Pontotoc3466
Marion32712
Claiborne30111
Chickasaw29719
Winston29511
Pearl River28832
Noxubee2788
Jasper2776
Marshall2773
Walthall2627
Clay25811
Union25211
Smith24612
Clarke22325
Coahoma2226
Lawrence2092
Yalobusha2079
Tallahatchie1954
Kemper18414
Carroll18111
Montgomery1713
Calhoun1645
Humphreys16310
Itawamba1468
Tippah14511
Hancock14413
Webster13411
Jefferson1263
Tunica1233
Jefferson Davis1204
Prentiss1204
George1163
Greene11310
Amite1103
Alcorn1002
Quitman991
Wilkinson989
Tishomingo971
Perry874
Choctaw754
Stone742
Franklin542
Sharkey480
Benton460
Issaquena101
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 49892

Reported Deaths: 1077
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Jefferson6433170
Mobile4753139
Montgomery4430112
Tuscaloosa263253
Madison21199
Marshall192611
Shelby164225
Lee157237
Morgan12695
Baldwin120711
Walker106131
Elmore102920
Dallas9969
Etowah95114
DeKalb9417
Franklin93216
Autauga67614
Russell6750
Chambers67427
Unassigned65328
Butler65129
Tallapoosa62869
Limestone6223
Houston5857
Cullman5716
Lauderdale5686
St. Clair5133
Colbert4956
Calhoun4905
Lowndes48122
Escambia4808
Pike4725
Coffee4244
Jackson4182
Covington41412
Barbour3942
Dale3911
Talladega3897
Bullock37710
Marengo35211
Hale34823
Chilton3232
Clarke3126
Wilcox3038
Blount2961
Winston2965
Sumter29113
Marion27514
Pickens2696
Randolph2589
Monroe2553
Perry2362
Conecuh2308
Bibb2211
Macon2159
Choctaw21212
Greene1959
Henry1533
Washington1418
Crenshaw1273
Lawrence1250
Cherokee1237
Geneva960
Lamar871
Clay852
Fayette821
Coosa651
Cleburne421
Out of AL00
Tupelo
Clear
77° wxIcon
Hi: 91° Lo: 71°
Feels Like: 78°
Columbus
Clear
73° wxIcon
Hi: 91° Lo: 72°
Feels Like: 73°
Oxford
Broken Clouds
77° wxIcon
Hi: 89° Lo: 68°
Feels Like: 78°
Starkville
Overcast
70° wxIcon
Hi: 90° Lo: 69°
Feels Like: 70°
WTVA Radar
WTVA Temperatures
WTVA Severe Weather