The Road to Selma


Ever since I came to this country in 1984, I have been obsessed with the road from Selma to Montgomery. After moving to Alabama in 1989, I visited the road and wanted to document its straightaways, curves, and rich and troubled history. The impact of the events along this road in the sixties led to things like the Voting Rights Act. They also implored more equality and less racism. We still have a ways to go, but this road will always live as a reminder of our shared humanity.

Photographed by Karim Shamsi-Basha


Poem by Karim Shamshi-Basha

I have a dream

No matter the color of your skin

You are a human being

Like any other being

Under the vast sun

On this tiny earth

We all share


I have a dream

The children of God

White and black and yellow and red

Will cherish one another

Regardless of what they speak

Regardless of what they do

Regardless of who they worship

And regardless of where they lay their head at night


I have a dream

The hills of this majestic country

The valleys of this gracious land

The cities of this precious nation

Would know no difference on our outside

What matters is the inside

Our intentions manifested

Our character realized

Our reality revealed

We should look for more than surface

We should not Ignore the depth within


I have a dream

American, Arab, Chinese, or Indian

Christian, Muslim, Hindu, or Jewish

Poor or rich

Man, woman, or child

We are all human beings

On a tiny ball hurtling through space

With billions of other balls around

From 30,000 feet

It matters not

It matters not

It matters not


I have a dream

One day we will smile instead of hate

We will love instead of cry and whimper

One day we will touch and feel

Each other’s dreams and wishes

And sing and holler

Each other’s joys and grins

One day we will put away

Each other’s sorrow and tears


I have a dream

Young cheeks will puff and blow

The dandelions over the dew

Of our fair consciousness

Little feathers fly seeking





I have a dream

Instead of death and war and guns

We all give flowers

Growing in clay pots

Weathered by the same sun

Wind-swept by the same squall

Watered by the same rain

From clouds of justice

Clouds of peace

Clouds of love


I have a dream

No matter who we are

No matter our color or faith

No matter where we’re born

No matter hungry or full

No matter what we utter

The beauty of this life

Will grant us all

Peace of minds

love of hearts

Kinship of bodies

Serenity of souls

I have a dream


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