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Quarterlife Queer

A never ending story

Tomorrow is Super Tuesday, I will be getting up EXTRA early so that I can cast my vote before we have to get to school. Today on the way back from the gym we scouted out the school we are suppose to vote at and hopefully everything goes smoothly (I’ve only ever voted in the County and the City doesn’t have the best track record when it comes to big elections)

In honor of BHM I thought I should take a look at the history of voting while black in the U.S.. February 3, 1870 The Fifteenth Amendment was ratified, making it illegal to deny anyone from voting based on race, color, or previous condition of servitude. In theory and on paper February 3, 1870 should mark the day black people could start voting, however we all know that “Jim Crow” and his band of WASPS saw that little amendment a different way. From the period between 1870 and the 1960’s the ability to vote as a Black citizen ( black women gained the right to vote under the 19th amendment in 1919) was an uphill battle. For some it wasn’t even an option, like blacks in rural Mississippi. Many different tactics were used from intimidation to the creation of literacy tests that were impossible to pass.

The Summer of 1964 brought us “Freedom Summer”, a project organized to get Blacks registered to vote in Mississippi. The NAACP, the Congress of Racial Equality, the Southern Christian Leadership Conference and the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (although most were recruited through SNCC I think the others like to throw in their hats as part of it as well) brought together over 1,000 young people to travel across the state and get people registered. The summer was filled with good and bad, with violence starting almost immediately with the abduction, torture, and death of three young men. The Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party was formed during that summer and Fannie Lou Hamer lead the way.

In 1965 The Voting Rights Act came along to get rid of the literacy tests and to provide federal registration to rural citizens. In 2006 Bush signed the reauthorization of the Act, an event that must happen every 25 years.

So there you have it.. a very brief history. (Yes, I know I left a lot out but I didn’t have the energy..sorry)

tomorrow I will proudly participate in Super Tuesday, voting for Obama (Yay i finally decided!) and remembering that voting is a privilege that blacks had to fight for.

I hope everyone that has the opportunity to vote tomorrow does so!

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