PushBlack Says North Carolina, Come On and Raise Up!

Hey, PushBlack family! Today, we’re celebrating Millie Jackson’s Birthday. Jackson’s raw lyrics and demeanor helped pave the way for the rise of rap and hip-hop a decade later.

Hey, PushBlack family! Last Monday marked the beginning of a federal trial to determine the legality of North Carolina’s voter suppression laws. Since these laws passed in 2013, the political climate in North Carolina has reflected that of the American South during the Civil Rights Movement. Lawmakers continue to pass laws that harm women, people of color, the poor, and LGBTQ folks. But just as in the 1950s and 1960s, there’s been a strong and organized response to these laws. In 1965, the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC), Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC), and other civic groups won passage of the Voting Rights Act. In 2015, we’re hoping that the Moral Monday movement and its allies overturn these new voter suppression laws. We’re doing a three-part email series to provide some context around what’s happening in North Carolina. In this email, we’re drawing parallels between North Carolina today and Selma, Alabama in 1965.

How one law turned the clock back 50 years in North Carolina, and how one court decision can fix it.

In the 1990s and 2000s, North Carolina offered an exciting vision for the South: voting reforms dramatically increased black voter turnout, North Carolinians voted for Barack Obama in 2008, and in 2009 the state passed the Racial Justice Act (later repealed). Many folks viewed North Carolina as a state that had the potential to remain distinctly Southern without perpetuating the legacies of slavery and Jim Crow. This all changed in 2012, when a new government re-imagined Jim Crow poll taxes and literacy tests to make voting extremely difficult for black and brown people, immigrants, elders, and students. Moral Monday activists are fighting back against these unjust laws and hoping to put North Carolina back on track. This article explains how the events in North Carolina today parallel those in 1965 Alabama.


A wolf in sheep’s clothing: NC Voter ID laws.

Two years ago, Reverend William Barber, president of the North Carolina NAACP, went on air to talk about the North Carolina General Assembly’s attack on voting rights. In this six minute video, Rev. Barber 1) compares this race and class based attack to the Southern strategy of the 1960s and 1970s, 2) advocates for the importance of grassroots and law-based activism, and 3) explains how these voter ID laws affect everyday people.


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Curated by PushBlack family member:

Tareq Alani @tareq_alani