Possible encroachment by the blizzard battering the Northeast has the organizers of a tentative “Selma” screening on Capitol Hill worried that inclement weather may bury their plans.
An aide to House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., told HOH that Reps. John Lewis, D-Ga.; Martha Roby, R-Ala.; Steny H. Hoyer, D-Md.; and Terri A. Sewell, D-Ala., were expected to co-host a screening Tuesday of the historical drama for fellow House lawmakers. One of the staffers coordinating the showing said the South Congressional Auditorium in the Capitol Visitor Center has been reserved, but noted that the rapidly changing forecast — D.C. was supposed to be blanketed already, but may still see some treacherous precipitation before everything blows over — has given the group pause.
Lewis brought up the bipartisan movie plans during a National Press Club discussion of his latest autobiographical project , “March: Book Two.”
“My co-writer, my friend. We’re more than friends. We’re brothers,” Lewis told attendees on Jan. 21 about the bond that’s been forged as he and his comics-obsessed protégé continue piecing together the three-part series.
Those gathered for a crash course in civil disobedience ran the gamut, from silver-haired gents clutching dog-eared copies of Bruce Watson’s “Freedom Summer: The Savage Season that Made Mississippi Burn and Made America a Democracy” to high school students captivated by the graphic depictions of Lewis’ death-defying activism.
“’March: Book Two’ is my hope and my prayer … that another generation will make America a better place,” Lewis told the collected history buffs.
The 15-term lawmaker said he “loved” the Hollywood version of the fateful trek from Selma, Ala. to the state capital, Montgomery. He gave President Lyndon B. Johnson credit for supporting the cause — “President Johnson played a major role in getting the Civil Rights Act passed and the Voting Rights Act,” he said — but brushed aside any notion that LBJ somehow masterminded the film’s titular standoff.
“Selma selected itself,” Lewis stated, noting that his then-roommate had decamped for the heart of Dixie as early as 1962. “We didn’t need a president or an elected official to tell us Selma was the place.”
Assuming D.C. does not turn into one massive snowdrift, expect to hear plenty more about life-changing, civil-rights era experiences during the pre-screening panel discussion currently scheduled to take place in the CVC at 7:15 p.m.
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