Does My Voice Count? Voter Rights and Voter Suppression – 50 Years Later…What’s Changed?
1100 E St
San Rafael, CA 94901
In 1965, the Voting Rights Act was enacted marking the beginning of the end of voter suppression and disenfranchisement of blacks and people of color in the U.S.
Soon afterwards the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party, Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC), and Southern Christian Leadership Council issued a call to students to come to Mississippi to help register black voters during the 1965 Christmas vacation. It was called Mississippi Freedom Christmas.
Jim Lemkin, a volunteer photographer for SNCC, traveled the rural roads of Tylertown, Mississippi with a group of northern college students getting the word out that voter suppression was now illegal. Against a backdrop of southern resentment and hostility, students went door to door informing black residents of Wallthall County that they could now register to vote (many for the first time in their lives) and taking them to a Federal registrar to complete the voter registration process.
This slide presentation and discussion follows the work of a handful of students moved by compassion and the call to action for social justice. We will also explore the consequences of the repeal of a key provision of the Voting Rights Act in 2013 that opened the doors to voter suppression once again.
Jim Lemkin, ND is a naturopathic doctor, photographer, documentary filmmaker and teacher. He has produced films that have appeared on PBS and elsewhere.