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August 12, 2013

hollis_watkins_civil_rights_movement_veterans.jpg

Photo: Hollis Watkins
Hollis Watkins
Credit
Civil Rights Movement Veterans

A Call To Register Voters In Mississippi, Again

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Hollis Watkins was recruited to help civil rights activists convince blacks living in Mississippi in the early 1960’s that registering to vote was worth the risks. And there were risks: local whites might threaten a civil rights worker’s family or burn a cross nearby. Watkins grew up in a large family of share croppers and his father did not say much, but he approved when Hollis was arrested trying to desegregate a Woolworth store. He says he is concerned that the recent Supreme Court decision striking down part of the Voting Rights Act will keep people from going to the polls. He says some don’t have an ID and others are afraid of people examining their name or address. “They don’t know who is looking at their information,” and this keeps them from registering, he says.

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"Intent" by Monica McIntyre

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