Students must ‘stand up and vote,’ Brown says at Claflin
Feb 20, 2016
Speaker and author Cleo Brown spoke at Claflin about the history of voting and how students can shape the future with a decision on the next president.
Brown told students gathered on Feb. 3 in the W.V. Middleton auditorium to share their ideas on issues such as education and learning how the law works in their favor.
“I want to urge students to stand up and vote for who you want to see make the next big difference in your country,” Brown said.
A race relations strategist and author of "Witness to the Truth,” Brown speaks nationally on black history and voting rights.
“Do you like history?” she asked. After hearing answers, Brown took the audience on a journey through time.
“It's only when you take a journey back through time when you realize what is needed to move forward,” Brown said.
She looked back to her hometown in Mississippi between the 1880s-1960s. The place to register for voting would be hidden from African-American voters so they were not able to exercise their right to vote, she said.
That didn’t stop Brown’s father from attempting to vote, but one night when they were walking home from church, he was shot.
“Imagine today, if we were subject to these rules and guidelines,” she said.
Congress changed voting laws in 1965 to assure access for all. States were required by the Voting Rights Acts to ensure that minorities could vote and had equal opportunity to seek elected office.