written by LESLIE WATSON MALACHI
Today, as Americans across the country celebrate the life and work of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., we must also consider the future of his legacy. Dr. King's movement achieved great strides for African Americans and others who had been left out of the American dream. But even as we celebrate the great achievements of the Civil Rights movement, a key accomplishment of the movement is under attack: the right of every eligible citizen to cast a ballot that counts.
The 2008 election was a hopeful one for African Americans in our democracy -not because of who was elected, but because who turned out to vote. For the first time in American history, we voted at a nearly identical rate to our white neighbors. In fact, African American women had the highest turnout rate of any group of any race. More than 40 years after the end of Jim Crow (acknowledging the resurrection of what many are calling the "New Jim Crow"), we closed that persisting gap of participation. In greater numbers than ever before, we stood up and we spoke with our vote.
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