This edition of Two Way Street is devoted to a look at the motion picture Selma, which opens in theaters across the country next weekend. It tells the story of one of the most important episodes in the history of the American civil rights movement: the march from Selma, Alabama to the state capitol in Montgomery led by Dr. Martin Luther King. The march was an effort to dramatize the need for Congress to pass a voting rights law that would assure Southern blacks access to the ballot. Bill Nigut talks first to Ambassador Andrew Young, who at the time of the march was a 31-year-old top advisor to Dr. King. Young talks about being a witness to Bloody Sunday, the brutal day on which Alabama troopers, police and sheriff deputies turned back the marchers with tear gas, dogs water hoses and clubs before they could cross the Edmund Pettis Bridge leading out of Selma. He also shares his response to seeing the events of Selma put to film.
Then, Bill talks with Elisa Carlson, the Atlanta-based speech and dialect coach who was brought in by Selma director Ava Duvernay to assure that the actors spoke with the dialects, rhythms and inflections that accurately represented the historical figures they portrayed.