On Juneteenth, Black Voters Matter boarded the “Blackest Bus in America”, kicking off their Freedom Ride for Voting Rights, commemorating the 60th anniversary of the original Freedom Ride to raise awareness about voting rights. This year’s Freedom Ride for Voting Rights comes as more than 40 states consider legislation to restrict voting rights, which would have a disproportionate impact on Black communities. It started in Jackson, Mississippi, and made stops in key southern states to rally with partner organizations, meet with voters, and discuss the issues impacting their communities. The aim of Black Voters Matter is to increase voter registration and turnout, advocate for policies to expand voting rights and access, including expanded early voting, resisting voter ID, re-entry restoration of rights and strengthening the Voting Rights Act, and to develop infrastructure where little to none exist.
The Black Voters Matter Freedom Ride for Voting Rights culminated in our nation’s capital on June 26th. Our own, Ronnette Rollins, was on site at the historic event. She had an opportunity to interview D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser. Check the video for the full interview. Here’s one key statement that Mayor Bowser shared:
“My great hope is that I’m the last Mayor who will have to sit in a Senate hearing room and demand our full voting rights.”
The nine city, eight day tour ended in an EPIC way at a D.C. Rally to support voting rights legislation, push for D.C. Statehood and empower black voters. It was held on the National Mall and was the first major demonstration advocating for D.C. statehood, organized by national organizations in solidarity with local activists. Hosted by Reverend Mark Thompson of “Make It Plain”, speakers included Cliff Albright and LaTosha Brown of Black Voters Matter, Democratic Representative Gerry Connelly of Virginia, Democratic Representative Sheila Jackson Lee of Texas, Democratic Representative Eleanor Holmes Norton of D.C. and more! There was also free food and live music, including our own DJ Soul, Big Tony and TroubleFunk Go-Go Band, as well as TCB Go-Go Band.
There’s power in our votes! That power increases with more voters. So make sure you are registered to vote and every opportunity you get, exercise your right to VOTE!
Black History Happening Now:
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- New AP African American Studies Course Debuts This Fall
- Harlem Street Named After Trailblazing Tennis Legend Althea Gibson