Passing the Torch — From Selma to Today looks at one of the most crucial moments of the civil rights movement and how this piece of legislation affects modern times. Jessie Kornberg, president of legal services nonprofit Bet Tzedek, moderates the discussion with civil rights leaders Andrew Young, Bernard Lafayette Jr. and Clarence B. Jones, as well as James Perkins Jr., Selma's first African-American mayor.
In 1965, nearly 100 years after the post–Civil War ratification of the 15th Amendment to the Constitution, which states that "the right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of race, color, or previous condition of servitude," African-Americans in the South still faced obstacles when it came to voting. In March of that year, a series of protest marches from Selma to Montgomery in Alabama spurred the signing into law of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 by President Lyndon B. Johnson; it eliminated racial discrimination in voting. Hosted by the Skirball Cultural Center,