On Monday, January 19th, America celebrated Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. Although many students celebrated with a day off from school, a group of 27 African-American business leaders in New York spread awareness with free movie tickets for 7th, 8th, and 9th graders. This group created a fund that offered 27,000 New York City middle/high school students the opportunity to watch the movie, “SELMA,” for free. Starring David Oyelowo as Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., “SELMA” takes place in 1965, the year of Dr. King’s campaign for equal voting rights. The movie depicts his three-month long march from Selma, Alabama (hence the movie title) to Montgomery, Alabama, that led to the signing of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, the greatest victory of the Civil Rights Movement. The movie also shows Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s brothers and sisters’ involvement in the journey for equal rights.
The only requirement for students to receive free tickets is a valid student ID or report card. The event has also spread to several other states, from as close as New Jersey all the way to California. Even though there are no more available tickets in New York City, have no fear! Our more determined students can try to snatch a ticket in Westchester or New Jersey by visiting http://selmastudenttickets.com/. For those who have already participated in the event, the event founders ask students to share their experiences with #SelmaForStudents.