Book Beginnings quote: (Prologue)
Hmm...It was a mystery worthy of master crime writer Raymond Chandler. And the mystery was this: On November 8, 2016, black Americans did not show up at the polls. It was like a day of absence.Friday56 quote:
This was not the first time that the Supreme Court had dealt with the redrawing of a city's boundaries designed to dilute the voting strength of a town's black population.Summary:
In One Person, No Vote, Anderson chronicles the rollbacks to African American participation in the vote since the 2013 Supreme Court decision that eviscerated the Voting Rights Act of 1965. Known as the Shelby ruling, this decision effectively allowed districts with a demonstrated history of racial discrimination to change voting requirements without approval from the Department of Justice. Focusing on the aftermath of Shelby, Anderson follows the astonishing story of government-dictated racial discrimination unfolding before our very eyes as more and more states adopt voter suppression laws. In gripping, enlightening detail she explains how voter suppression works, from photo ID requirements to gerrymandering to poll closures. And with vivid characters, she explores the resistance: the organizing, activism, and court battles to restore the basic right to vote to all Americans as the nation gears up for the 2020 presidential election season ( from the publisher).Review: I have never in my whole life wanted to fling a book away from me because it made me so angry as when I read this book. Hundreds of thousands, maybe millions of people were not able to vote in 2016 because of the efforts of their legislatures to disenfranchise them. Some were removed from the polls because they hadn't voted for a few years. Others couldn't vote because they didn't have the "right" ID. Some couldn't get to the polling station because their usual spot was closed and the new location wasn't on a bus route. Many were not informed of the changes until after they showed up to vote and stood in line for hours. I simmered and stewed as I read each chapter. How could this happen in America where we are supposed to prize democracy? Gr.r.r.r
Needless to say I had a hard time finishing the book since I would snap it shut about every other page just to try and get my blood pressure to go back down. Nevertheless, I want to encourage everyone who cares at all about fairness and equal right to read this book and then to act to make sure voting rights are fair in your corner of the country.
What I liked about the book:
- It opened my eyes to the efforts made by mostly Republican legislatures to ensure that people of color not be allowed to vote or vote as easily as everyone else. I'm a pretty "woke" person about these issues but I still learned a lot.
- The book includes a discussion guide and a "how to get involved in your community" page to encourage activism on voting rights. It also has good chapter notes, a bibliography and an index---all helpful tools to those who want to do more research on their own.
- EVERY library needs to stock several copies of this book.
- I don't like it that this problem exists at all. But as distressing as it is, at least there is a book to wake up the masses, in hopes that changes can be made.
Help make sure that everyone in your state can vote. Everyone. Even those you disagree with.