Buffalo students inspired by Selma film
About 140 Buffalo Public School students received a history lesson in civil rights outside their classrooms Thursday. WBFO's Focus on Education reporter Eileen Buckley says students from six city schools saw the movie Selma at the Regal Theater on Elmwood Avenue in North Buffalo.
WBFO spoke with students just as they emerged from seeing the film. Selma is based on the voting right marches led 50 years ago by Martin Luther King, Jr.
"It was a very sentimental, but very moving movie. It inspired me a lot and I learned a lot from the movie,' said Gretshen Martinez, a junior at Bennett High School.
Bennett senior Chronicle Mclain also felt inspired by the film.
"I think it should inspire anyone to fight for anything they believe in, or especially being willing to put their lives and their physical bodies on the forefront of that," said Mclain.
Bennett senior Micheal Ortiz said he was skeptical about seeing the film thinking it would be boring. Instead, he walked out feeling proud.
"Honestly, before, I was kind of skeptical about coming here, and now that I actually saw the movie, I'm very proud that I came," noted Ortiz. "And I'm proud of where I come from."
Jedidiah Gallagher, also a senior at Bennett, felt the power of King's speech portrayed in the movie.
"When he gave his speech at the end, it like really showed they gave up their lives and some of their freedoms so we could have ours today," said Gallagher. "I didn't think it was going to be so emotional."
Erie County legislator Betty Jean Grant and three African-American Buffalo Common Council members, Council President Darius Pridgen, Masten Council member Demone Smith and University lawmaker Rasheed Wyatt paid for the movie tickets so students could attend.