Relay race retraces Selma to Montgomery march

Relay race retraces Selma to Montgomery march
April 19
18:22 2018

A group of eight women recently ran from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama in the Inaugural Selma to Montgomery 51-Mile Relay on March 24.  This was the same route civil rights activists took as a part of a series of civil rights protests that occurred in 1965 in Alabama.

In March of that year, the Selma to Montgomery marches were three protest marches along the 54-mile highway from Selma, Alabama to the state capital of Montgomery. Violence erupted against protesters during one of those marches.

Latisha Alford, owner of Back to the Basics Nutrition and Fitness, organized an all-female relay team from neighboring cities to represent in the Inaugural Selma to Montgomery 51 Mile relay.  Just like in 1965, the relay participants started in Selma, Montgomery, ran across the Edmund Pettus Bridge and finished the relay at the Montgomery State Capitol.  Team participants were Emma Norman (Raleigh), Demetria Smith (Winston Salem), Pamela Robinson (Winston Salem), Asha King (Cary), Sharlie Brown (Winston Salem), Keya Ward (Winston Salem), Shalane Griffin (Greensboro), and Latisha Alford (Winston Salem). 

As the ladies ran in the warmer temperatures and endured high elevation, they reflected on the how those before them persevered, walking some 12 hours a day and sleeping in fields along the way. 

About 2,000 people set out from Selma on March 21, 1965, protected by U.S. Army troops and Alabama National Guard forces that President Johnson had ordered under federal control.  They reached the Montgomery State Capitol on March 25 and listened to speeches from civil rights leaders, including Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. 

A Winston-Salem area group of women received First Place All-Female Team honors. 

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