Statement of Significance (as of designation - December 12, 1997):
Brown Chapel African Methodist Episcopal Church played a major role in the events that led to the adoption of the Voting Rights Act of 1965. Brown Chapel was the headquarters of the Selma Voting Rights Movement and the starting point of the three Selma-to-Montgomery Marches. Media coverage of the violence during the marches showed that equal access to the ballot was far from being realized. The nation's reaction to Selma's "Bloody Sunday March" is widely credited with making the passage of the Voting Rights Act politically viable to an otherwise cautious Congress.