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  • Carolyn L. Baker

The Power of the Black Vote

Updated: Jun 8, 2020


As a white woman, I would be way out of my lane to comment on the power of the black vote. So today I’m sharing a Super Tuesday segment aired this week at KARE-TV Minneapolis. Anchor Adrienne Broaddus did an interview during Black History Month with well known civil rights pioneer Josie Johnson. Now 90 years of age, Johnson risked her life in the 50s and 60s fighting for voting fairness. At the end of the previous BHM interview, Johnson posed a series of questions regarding the difference between young and old black voters back onto interviewer Broaddus. This Super Tuesday segment I’m sharing focuses on Broaddus’ follow up to those questions this week.

“I am interested in your generation of black people and their sense of the right to vote. How are we going to urge our people to truly think about voting and voting right in the serious forum that our ancestors believed and died for?”, Johnson asked Broaddus. “Do they feel that their elders and ancestors have created an environment for them to want to vote and to be active and engaged? I really want to know how our young people feel about society today. Do they feel safe?”

So, to get a sense of the community, Broaddus tweeted the question out from her @abroaddus twitter handle this week asking black people between the ages of 18-40 to share their opinions on these questions. The link to the enlightening KARE-TV segment with the responses of some young black voters is here.

In closing Johnson said to Broaddus, “We have got to keep teaching but we also have to prove that voting matters. And that things change. So many of our people don’t see change.” I’m happy to report Measure R in Los Angeles passed on Super Tuesday for comprehensive criminal justice reform. It is heartening to see this community–wide endorsement of alternatives to incarceration. Carolyn L. Baker, M.Ed. is the author of An Unintentional Accomplice: A Personal Perspective on White Responsibility who grew up in segregated Southern California and came of age in the counter-cultural 1960s.

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