I was impressed with the winning speech of the songwriters John Legend and Common whose song “Glory” garnered the top award in the category of Best Song. They wrote the song for the movie, Selma, which recounts to the 1965 civil rights march to the state capitol of Montgomery. Upon winning the award, they used the bridge as a metaphor for a number of today’s challenges.
“This bridge was once a landmark of a divided nation, but now is a symbol for change. The spirit of this bridge connects the kid from the South side of Chicago, dreaming of a better life to those in France standing up for their freedom of expression to the people in Hong Kong protesting for democracy.”
The film Selma tells the story of the march at Selma, Alabama, which took place 7 March 1965. The bridge became a flash point when civil rights protesters crossed it in a march to Montgomery, the state capitol. On crossing the bridge, 600 protesters were met with billy clubs and tear gas.
The Edmund Pettus bridge itself is a steel through arch bridge, the base of which is below the deck, but the top rises above it, so the deck passes through the arch. Cables or beams in tension suspend the central part of the deck from the arch. It has a span of 76 metres.