Joanne Bland

28 October 2019

During her lifetime, Joanne Bland has been both a witness and a participant in some of the US’s most consequential civil rights battles. In the early 60's, she began her activism, with the SNCC (The Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee) organized for herself along with other children and teens in her neighborhood and area to participate in the Civil Rights Movement. Born and raised in Selma, Alabama, she has seen first hand how racism and segregation created a deadly divide between two races and decided that it was her duty to ensure that her voice was one of the many that was heard to create equality and voting rights for African Americans. By the time she was 11 years old, she had been arrested 13 times that are documented. She was an active participant in Bloody Sunday, marching alongside 600 or more only to get brutally beaten, tear gassed and hit by policemen on horses with billy clubs.

Her early involvement in the struggle against "Jim Crow", the American apartheid, has been the foundation and fuel for her civil and human rights work.

Currently, she is the owner and operator of Journeys for the Soul, a touring agency that specializes in Civil Rights tours with a major focus on Selma, Alabama. All the guides are participants of the Voting Rights struggle and each share their unique personal accounts of their involvement.