ESSENCE Poll: Should the Name of the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma Be Changed?

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A student group has formed a petition to rename the Edmund Pettus Bridge, named after a Confederate general and alleged grand dragon of the Ku Klux Klan. Do you think the name should be changed?

Saturday marks the 50th anniversary of Bloody Sunday, that fateful day when hundreds of civil rights marchers were brutally beaten by Selma, Alabama police as they crossed the Edmund Pettus Bridge. The group was on its way to Montgomery to fight for voting rights. 

In the 50 years since Bloody Sunday, the bridge has become a symbol in the ongoing struggle for civil rights. However, a student group has embarked on a new mission: They are determined to rename the bridge.

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The bridge's namesake, Edmund Pettus, was a Confederate general, U.S. senator and an alleged leader of the KKK.

Petitioners feel that a proven White supremacist should not have his name attached to what has turned into a historic civil rights landmark. On the other hand, those opposed to a name change think that the juxtaposition shows that the marchers did, indeed, tear down at least one hurdle in their struggle.

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Do you think the name of the bridge should be changed? Take our poll and leave us a comment telling us why (or why not). 

Do you think the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma should get a new name?
Total votes: 227

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