The image of the first African American president standing in front of the empty Edmund Pettus Bridge was a powerful one for Melanie Campbell, 50, a community organizer who traveled from Virginia for the anniversary. “Seeing him at that bridge, thinking how far we came to get him there, that makes me feel like we've come so far,” Campbell said. At the same time, another political activist in the crowd said she felt a pang of sadness because, she said, the country was still fighting the same fight. 50 years after the march on Selma “I hear that we can't get a new Voting Rights Act, and I want to know, why not?” said LaTosha Brown, 44, a Selma native who works as a project director for a group called Grantmakers for Southern Progress. “How can you be against that?” she asked. “We are hoping people will be inspired by what the president says.