An Open Letter to The South Florida Voting Rights Heroes

By Dr. Marcia Magnus

SOUTH FLORIDA – On behalf of the African American Voting Rights Martyrs (on display at the Voting Rights Museum in Selma, AL), thank you South Florida for literally standing up to 2012 Voter Suppression.

Thank you for:
–voting early
–returning to the precinct for several days until you got to vote
–taking your children to vote
–wrapping those lines around the precinct buildings
–waiting for at least five hours until midnight on election day and beyond even after the election had been called.

Those who believe that Voter Suppression would work have learned important lessons this November:

Black folks know how to turn political lemons into lemonade!

Our people are stronger than ever today! We can’t tell you how much it means to know that our lives were not lost in vain. Our families and friends did not grieve for their loss in vain!
Bless you!

African-American Voting Rights Martyrs

Do You Know Your Voting Rights Martyrs?

Rev. George Lee

May 7, 1955 · Belzoni, Mississippi
Rev. George Lee, one of the first black people registered to vote in Humphreys County, used his pulpit and his printing press to urge others to vote. White officials offered Lee protection on the condition he end his voter registration efforts, but Lee refused and was murdered.

Lamar Smith

August 13, 1955 · Brookhaven, Mississippi
Lamar Smith was shot dead on the courthouse lawn by a white man in broad daylight while dozens of people watched. The killer was never indicted because no one would admit they saw a white man shoot a black man. Smith had organized blacks to vote in a recent election.

Hebert Lee

September 25, 1961 · Liberty, Mississippi
Herbert Lee, who worked with civil rights leader Bob Moses to help register black voters, was killed by a state legislator who claimed self-defense and was never arrested. Louis Allen, a black man who witnessed the murder, was later also killed.

Voting Rights Martyrs: Courtesy of http://www.splcenter.org/civil-rights-memorial/civil-rights-martyrs

Dr. Marcia Magnus is the Founder and Chairperson of the Caribbean American Politically Active Citizens and can be reached at
[email protected]

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