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Rev. Bill McGill remembers ‘Bloody Sunday’ with march across MLK bridge

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FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WPTA21) - 56 years ago on March 7th there were hundreds that marched from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama in support of voting rights for African Americans. The day is known as 'Bloody Sunday’. 

“We shall overcome but we must keep marching by faith,” Reverend Bill McGill of Imani Baptist Temple said. “Unfortunately, they were met with violence by the local police and sheriffs run by Jim Clack, they beat John Lewis with inches of his life all he was doing was trying to get America over it's strife." 

McGill and other people in Fort Wayne are honoring this historic day by marching across the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Bridge. 

"We wanted to mark the day to remember John Lewis and others and encourage us to keep hope alive and to continue for equality to thrive,” he said. 

In 1965, hundreds marched more than 50 miles from Selma to Montgomery. McGill says the peaceful demonstrators were met with violence from law enforcement severely injuring dozens of people. 

He says each year on the anniversary he recites the words Dr. King said to the people after it happened then he marches across the bridge. He says this year, because of the pandemic, he live streamed the event on Facebook. 

 “Here we are 56 years later and unfortunately there's no denying a sense of progress,” McGill said. “It's still just an ongoing process.” 

McGill says ‘Bloody Sunday’ was the moment that ignited the Civil Rights Movement, which people are still fighting for to this day. 

If you would like to watch the event, click here.

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Karli VanCleave

Karli VanCleave is a multimedia journalist at WPTA for the evening newscast. Karli is a Fort Wayne native and Indiana University Bloomington graduate.
Feel free to connect with her on Facebook (@KarliVanCleaveNews) and Twitter (@Karli_VanCleave), or if you have a story idea send her an email at

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