The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #19440 Message #199435
Posted By: Joe Offer
22-Mar-00 - 07:02 PM
Thread Name: Lyr Req: We Shall Not Be Moved
Subject: Civil Rights
I marched with the NAACP Youth Council in Milwaukee in the 1960's, and it was a wonderful experience. I was always jealous of people like Bill who got to go to the South. My chance came in the late 70's and early 80's, when I worked as a federal election observer in small towns in Mississippi and Alabama, enforcing the Voting Rights Act. Seems to me that the demonstrations and legislation of the 1960's must have worked, because we rarely saw any problems 15 years later. Still, it felt good to be taking even a small part in bringing fairness to elections. The Voting Rights Act of 1965 was one piece of Civil Rights legistation that worked very well.
At most of the polling places where I worked, the election seemed to be a day-long party for everybody, a really joyful community gathering. Everybody knew everybody else, and everybody seemed to get along, both black and white. Besides that, people brought barbecue and fried chicken that was the best I've ever tasted. My biggest problem was figuring out how to diplomatically turn down food, once I had my fill.