Lynda Blackmon Lowery (born March 22, 1950 in Selma, Alabama) is a civil rights activist, best known for her contribution to the Selma voting rights march in 1965. She was the youngest person at the march, being 15 years old at the time, as she marched alongside Martin Luther King Jr. and several others. She has written a book on her experience titled, “Turning 15 on the Road to Freedom” and has participated in several interviews, including starring in the film “Soundtrack for a Revolution”. She has also participated in other marches as well, one of which (two weeks prior to the Selma to Montgomery march) she was beaten by Alabama State troopers when she was 14 years old on “Bloody Sunday” (March 7th, 1965). The state troopers had released tear gas on the marchers and started to get violent. They grabbed the back of Lowery’s coat collar and the front of her lapel, causing Lowery to bite one of the state troopers hands, as a trooper hit her twice on the back of her head while yelling derogatory terms. From the beating, she needed seven stitches over her eye and twenty-eight stitches on the back of her head, where she still has the scars from the march to this day.
Lynda Blackmon Lowery had been jailed nine times before her 15th birthday, fighting segregation. She first vowed to devote her life to the Civil Rights Movement, when she was 7 years old, after her mother died during childbirth from not being allowed in the “Whites only” hospital that was closest to them. She was 13 years old when she first heard Dr. King speak, where she was motivated by King’s words to start her role in the Civil Rights Movement. From a young age, Lynda Blackmon Lowery and her younger sister Joanne were encouraged to be freedom fighters, despite the violence and dangers of being a figure of the civil rights movement during a time filled with segregation in the south. Lynda Blackmon Lowery has dedicated her life to fighting segregation and speaking to young audiences about how they can make an impact in today’s world, spreading equality for all.