The Black Voting Rights Forum

Celebrating Black Women’s Suffrage and the 150-year anniversary of the 15th Amendment

by Rob Taylor Jr.
Courier Staff Writer

A Black Voting Rights Forum was held, Aug. 29, at St. Benedict the Moor Church in the Hill District, where the importance of voting was the top subject.

The 15th Amendment gave U.S. citizens the right to vote while not to be denied on the account of race, color, or previous condition of servitude. It, in effect, grant-ed African American men the right to vote, though, for generations, Blacks’ voting rights have been suppressed and discarded. Even with the 19th Amendment, which, in 1920, guaranteed American women the right to vote, that didn’t mean Black women were willingly placed into the voting booth.

AERION ABNEY

Voting, in its simplest form, happens all the time. Families have a vote on where to spend vacation. Sports teams have an inner-management vote to choose who they’ll pick in, say, the NFL Draft.

But the true meaning of voting has so much more at stake, which is why, to this day, some people still make it harder for Blacks to vote, their voices to be heard.

NICKOLE NESBY, THE MAYOR OF DUQUESNE

African Americans using their power to vote can easily infl uence, say, who the next mayor of Pittsburgh is, or the next state Representative, or the next Councilman, or the next U.S. President.

Don’t take voting for granted. It is a right that many fought for African Americans to have. When they say, “your vote matters,” it truly does.

SAMARIA RICE, left. Rice is the mother of Tamir Rice, the 12-year-old who was shot and killed by a Cleveland
Police officer in 2014. The Black Voting Rights Forum was held, Aug. 29, at St. Benedict the Moor Church in
the Hill District. (Photos by Courier photographer J.L. Martello)

The next general election occurs on Nov. 3. Whether you send in a mail-in ballot or vote in-person, there’s one thing you must do. Vote.

KORYN HAWTHORNE PERFORMS AT THE BLACK VOTING RIGHTS FORUM

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