Preloading

The Selma High School Class of 1971 Looks Back on the Ups and Downs of the Civil Rights Marches

The Selma High School Class of 1971:

James Perkins Jr., 61
Location: Selma, Alabama

Chanette Thompson, 61
Location: Alpharetta, Georgia

Rose Wilkins, 62
Location: Smyrna, Georgia

Joseph Smith, 62
Location: Lawrenceville, Georgia

Interview facilitated by Joseph Smith and Charles Williams


For many people who graduated high school in Selma, Alabama, in 1971, the civil rights marches of the '60s included both painful and uplifting moments. The trek that brought about historic voting legislation began in their city, where protesters met, bonded and, ultimately, started a series of marches to the state Capitol in Montgomery. People remember a lot of positivity and hope, especially in the peaceful singing and training done at Brown Chapel A.M.E. Church, a central meeting place for the protesters. They also recall the frightening events of "Bloody Sunday," when police and marchers clashed violently. Watch as members of the Selma High School Class of 1971—including James Perkins Jr., Chanette Thompson, Rose Wilkins and Joseph Smith—look back on the turbulent events of their childhood.

Hear more stories from people who were at the ground level of the civil rights marches
Published 01/12/2015
More Videos
Tamara Takes Issue With Confederate Affiliations
Delilah Tells Fred To Do The Right Thing- Or Else
Leah Tells Delilah She Wants to Settle
Tamara Confronts Casey Over His Mysterious Trip
Tamara Lands In Hot Water With Delilah
Tamara and Her Lawyer Confront Osbourne
"Black Love" Season 5 Premieres Friday, May 14
Cindy Snitches On Everybody
Demetria Tells the Story Of Her Late Husband
Leah Gives Delilah 24 Hours... Or Else
Mace Discovers Some Hot Tea
Alexis Reveals Her Prior Connection to Jason
Joel Makes His Rounds
Which One Of the Ladies Will Be Going Home?
Davis Cares For Charley As She Grows Sicker
Violet Has A Tense Phone Call With Darlene About Blue
Exclusive Look: 'Love & Marriage: Huntsville' Season Finale
"Iyanla: Fix My Life" Premieres April 10
Rutina Wesley, Nicholas Ashe and Cierra Glaude Discuss Season 5
First Look: "June 3, 2020"
Ralph Angel Has a Troubling Encounter With the Police
Nova to Courtney: "Stay Uncomfortable"
Charley Struggles to Breathe During a Phone Call
Delilah Pays Tamara a Visit
Moments with Marsau
Tamara and Delilah Decide to ‘Take a Beat’
First Look: "Sipping Wine, Spilling Tea"
"Ready to Love" Returns April 2
Leah Admits to Being a Pathological Liar
Chef Cam Is On His Way to Stardom
Melody Thinks Martell Has Regrets
The Holts Have One Final Sit Down
The Ladies Rally Around Melody
Girl Talk: Knowledge Is Our Power
First Look: "No Good Deed"
First Look: "June 1, 2020"
Ralph and Darla Have "The Talk" With Blue
Nova Honors Black Lives Lost To Police Brutality
First Look: The "Belle Collective" Reunion Part 2
Tamara Has A Secret Meeting
Oprah's New Book Club Pick: The 'Gilead' Novels by Marilynne Robinson
First Look: "Blaque in Business"
Iama Made an Impression on Latisha
Latisha Recaps The Girl’s Retreat
Martell Seeks Maurice’s Advice
Maurice Keeps It Real with Martell
Melody Has Heard Enough
The Final Season of "Iyanla: Fix My Life" Premieres April 10
First Look: "Andre"
First Look: "May 27, 2020"