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Voting Rights Act of 1965

Today's vote will shape tomorrow

Today's vote will shape tomorrow

Usually when I vote, as I did on Monday, I take with me my ancestors — men who, for a brief period of time in Georgia after the Civil War, were granted the right that more than any other defines what being American is all about. And then it was snatched away from them and their descendants until well into the 20th century. Not until passage of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, nearly 100 years after blacks first voted in Georgia, was this power to participate in the democracy made real again. Then, if not entirely yanked away, it was jeopardized by a recent Supreme Court decision.

As Election Day approached, I knew I'd carry with me the ancestors and a kind of foreboding that they must...