I woke up this morning at 4 am and simply began reflecting on the weight of our right to vote. As I walk hand in hand to my neighborhood polling place with my husband in a few minutes, we continue the stride of many of our elders and ancestors who were denied the right to democracy. We continue the stride of non-violent marchers like Fannie Lou Hamer, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Ralph Abernathy, Reverend Shuttlesworth, the beaten on Selma’s Edmund Pettus Bridge, my grandparents, aunts, uncles and parents. We shall not forget the “strange fruit,” as Billie Holiday called them – the many who were lynched in our nation’s collective fight for reaching a true democracy. We don’t take this right lightly. We stand on the strength, vision and determination of our families, our elders and our ancestors and with great pride and responsibility, we vote.
Today is a triumph for freedom
as huge as any victory that’s
ever been won on anhy battelfield.
Today we strike away the last major shackle
of fierce and ancient bonds.”
-President Johnson, 1965
signing the Voting Rights Act of 1965
For those in the United States, did you participate in early voting or are you voting today?