Voting Rights Act Story
Joanne Bland: The Voting Rights Act was signed August 6, 1965, right? An election was held in ’66. And I started complaining then. You know, I used that in the sense of my people, started complaining then. “Ooh, they’re cheating. Ooh, they’re doing this. Ooh, they’re doing that.” People came in and they couldn’t find enough for all of us, so they just went away. But for 35 years, I’ve been telling you the same things that happened in Florida in 2000. You didn’t do nothing about it. Right? And then you thought I was going to be upset in 2000 when them two rich white boys were fighting about the presidency, and then somebody appointed Bush. I wasn’t upset at all because now it’s in your neighborhood, and you gonna do something about it. You see what I’m saying? But as long as it was affecting me, you didn’t care. And you want me to be lead the charge to be outraged. The hell with them. I didn’t need, you know, I don’t think young people even cared because, you know, that’s what they’ve been hearing all their lives, particularly in my neighborhood. It didn’t affect us. It didn’t, you heard this little mumble and then that was it. Did y’all wonder why black people were not enraged? They appointed a president, and that all these practices were exposed? We were darn happy. It’s about time.
Did You Know?
In 1965 several African-American tenant farmer families in Lowndes County, AL were evicted from their homes by White land owners because of attempting to register and vote. A Tent City was established at the location of the Lowndes Interpretive Center as a temporary home for the evicted families.