On the 50th anniversary of the "Bloody Sunday" marches in Selma, Alabama, President Obama delivered an impassioned speech on civil rights.

On "Bloody Sunday" 1965, Alabama state troopers beat about 600 nonviolent protesters as they marched for civil rights. In the wake of those events, Congress passed the Voting Rights Act.


In his speech, President Obama addressed the continued civil-rights-related challenges and race-based struggles the country faces:


"Of course, a more common mistake is to suggest that racism is banished, that the work that drew men and women to Selma is complete, and that whatever racial tensions remain are a consequence of those seeking to play the 'race card' for their own purposes. We don't need the Ferguson report to know that's not true. We just need to open our eyes, and ears, and hearts, to know that this nation's racial history still casts its long shadow upon us. We know the march is not yet over, the race is not yet won, and that reaching that blessed destination where we are judged by the content of our character – requires admitting as much."

Here, half a century later, it's a tragic truth that racism is still prevalent. It's not until we come together that we'll be able to mend these rifts within society. The president addressed this point too:

"This is work for all Americans, and not just some. Not just whites. Not just blacks. If we want to honor the courage of those who marched that day, then all of us are called to possess their moral imagination. All of us will need to feel, as they did, the fierce urgency of now. All of us need to recognize, as they did, that change depends on our actions, our attitudes, the things we teach our children. And if we make such effort, no matter how hard it may seem, laws can be passed, and consciences can be stirred, and consensus can be built."

Here's the full text of President Obama's remarks.