the right to vote

Here are some stills I'm considering for book two, as I finish planning the scrapbook sections. In 1964, 45% of Mississippi's population was black, but less than 5% of blacks were registered to vote state-wide.

Below: Registering voters in Batesville, Mississippi during Freedom Summer, 1964. CORE workers began to wear straw hats at some point that summer, to distinguish them from other COFO workers (SNCC, NAACP).

This CORE worker is accompanying a woman to the courthouse, where she will try to register to vote. One of the outcomes of Freedom Summer was the Voting Rights Act of 1965, assuring the vote to black American citizens.
 photo by Robert Brand
Below: These two young men were arrested just after this photo was taken. Selma, Alabama, 1963.
Photo: Danny Lyon/Magnum
Below: A volunteer teaches a woman to write so she can fill out the registration form and register to vote in Virginia.
Photo: Eve Arnold/Magnum
Below: People line up to register to vote on Freedom Day, July 16, 1964, in Greenwood, Mississippi. One hundred eleven people were arrested as they tried to register to vote, including several Freedom Summer volunteers.
Photo: Danny Lyon/Magnum
Below: black citizens try to integrate a whites-only pool in Cairo, Illinois in 1962.
Photo: Danny Lyon/Magnum

Below: Sporting the slogan for Freedom Summer. One Man, One Vote.
Photo: Robert J. Brand
Seems impossible to believe that less than fifty years ago, the acts depicted in these pictures were dangerous and against the law in many states. The stories of these courageous people is the one I'm trying to tell in book two of the sixties trilogy. People risked their lives to be able to cast a ballot on election day, to become "a first-class citizen." People risked their lives to help others accomplish that goal.
from the Zoya Zeman collection at the University of Southern Mississippi McCain Archive
As Bob Moses said, "Citizenship is a full-time occupation." How to bring that truth to young readers? That's my challenge. You can find these photos and many more that represent the story I'm telling in book two, collected on my Pinterest boards, here.


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