“I’ve voted in every election since 1951.”
Do you remember the first time you voted? Oh, yes. When I turned 21, my mother came to me on election day and said, ‘ok put your clothes on. It’s time for us to go vote’. I’ve voted in every election since then. My mother and father had to walk a long way from where we lived to get to their polling site. (In 1970, President Richard Nixon signed an extension of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 reducing the voting age from 21 to 18 in all federal, state, and local elections.)
Why don’t more people vote? I don’t really understand it. I don’t think that a lot of people realize that they really don’t want us to vote because they know how much the Black vote counts. Plus so many young people don’t know their history. My daddy left Arkansas because he got into a fight with a white man who stole his dog. He told my mother to take us (the children) and stay with her parents until he could send for us. Mother begged him not to leave. But he said, ‘honey buns, you know what they will do to me. I got to go.
What do you think about people who say their vote doesn’t count? If you don’t vote, you can’t talk to me and you really don’t count. Don’t complain about anything that happens to you. You gave up your voice and right to complain and be heard by not voting. You have nothing to say about anything that happens to you or a loved one. A lot of us don’t realize just how much the Black vote counts and how important our vote is in electing candidates. If Blacks right here in Wisconsin had voted like we did for Obama, there would be a different person in the White House. I read and watch the news, so I know what’s going on in our city and the world. Republicans and Democrats, I keep up with them to know if they are doing what they said they would to help the people before they were elected.