Flyer for Selma March by Henry Brownlee


This flyer was made in 1965 to bring people together to march in protest from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama. The African American artist, Henry Brownlee, designed the flyer with direct and powerful metaphors that called upon the African American population and allies to fight for the right of African American people to vote in order to begin to unchain the shackles of injustice holding them back from access to education, housing, and equitable treatment. It is an example of a powerful message being communicated in a simple way to assist in an important cause and shows the power of design as a tool for, and form of, revolution. The Selma marches were a series of three civil rights marches that took place in 1965 in Selma, Alabama, USA. These marches were part of the larger American civil rights movement and were organized to advocate for the right of African Americans to vote, as well as to protest racial segregation and discrimination. 

The first march, known as "Bloody Sunday," occurred on March 7, 1965, when civil rights activists, led by figures such as John Lewis and Hosea Williams, attempted to march from Selma to the state capital of Montgomery. They were met with violent opposition from state and local law enforcement, resulting in brutal beatings of the marchers and widespread public outrage.

In response to the violence, a second march, led by Martin Luther King Jr., was organized but stopped by a court-issued restraining order. Finally, under federal protection, a successful third march took place from March 21 to March 25, 1965, with thousands of people participating. The marchers, supported by the Voting Rights Act signed into law later that year, helped bring national attention to the issue of voting rights for African Americans and contributed to the broader struggle for civil rights in the United States.

Flyer for Selma March by Henry Brownlee