As over 15 million diverse young people join the voting rolls, voting is one of the most important ways in which Americans can express their viewpoint on issues facing our country. However, voting is sometimes not equally available to every citizen in America.
Historically, African-Americans were not allowed to vote. Because of racism in America, African-Americans were physically intimidated and presented with poll tests and other obstacles to restrict their ability to vote. In an interview, led by Jackson State University students, Flonzie Brown-Wright Ph.D., the first African-American woman in Mississippi to be elected to public office post reconstruction as Madison county election commissioner, recounted her personal experience being restricted by a poll test when trying to vote.
Mrs. Wright shared her struggle against voting restrictions and racial injustice. She noted, that even today, the African-American community must overcome the confusion and the obstacles in their communities that try to restrict voting. She emphasized the struggle and the civil unrest that her generation endured to obtain the voting freedoms we have today.
Although, African Americans no longer have to take a test to register to vote, many still face obstacles. As communities face more violence, the importance of voting has only increased. Today, as African-Americans have opportunities to speak out and vote, many believe they also have a responsibility to remember those who went before them.
Please vote on November 3, 2020, and honor our intergenerational struggle.
This story is provided by AARP Mississippi. Visit the AARP Mississippi page for more news, events, and programs affecting retirement, health care, and more.
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