Minnesota commemorates Selma marches

Thousands gathered in Selma, Ala. on the 50th anniversary of Bloody Sunday. Fifty years ago, marchers fighting for voting rights for African Americans were attacked by state troopers, and this Sunday, nearly 20,000 people joined the march on the Edmund Pettus Bridge. VIEW PHOTOS 

More: 68 Minnesotans march in Selma again

Meanwhile, in Minnesota, a congregation of more than 1,000 people gathered inside Central Presbyterian in St. Paul on Sunday, and they affirm a resounding statement.

"We still have a lot of residual racism, we still have a lot of institutionalized racism, and it says we still have a lot of work to do to uncover that," longtime St. Paul resident Leon Rodrigues said.

That point was made with a march from the Capitol to the church.

Food for thought

Several marchers shared their sentiments and why they chose to participate.

"Compare then to now, I believe it's different, but it's still a problem, it's very shocking to kind of think some of friends weren't even able to be at school, like back then they wouldn't be able to be at school with me," Sarah Andrew said.

"It felt like people actually cared about this even though we don't necessarily talk about this in everyday life," Gwyneth Paule said.

Rodrigues is originally from South Africa, and he's disheartened by the fact that to this day, these protests against racial injustice continue.

"We always felt the U.S. was a country that had been enfranchised a long time ago," he said. "But to find there are still people who don't have that right, people who democracy is quite a challenge."

"It was a great day as a white person to be quiet and listen, listen to their stories and think about what I can do to help," Katie Brink said. "I feel like that's something we all have to do, is constantly remind ourselves of these histories, and think about what we can do to help and for goodness sakes be quiet and listen."

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