Dr. Fergie Reid, Sr.
Guest Post by Dr. F. Reid, Jr.
90 for 90 is a website and a grassroots movement. It's a voter education and advocacy project, started in Virginia, in anticipation of Virginia's 2015 elections for state legislative offices. It honors and acknowledges the work of a man who, at 30 years of age, in 1955, began helping and educating voters, as well as potential voters, in Richmond, Virginia. Uh huh... Yeah... Right... So what?
The 30 year old gentleman was Black; he and his partners helped Black folks in Richmond, (as well as Roanoke, Lynchburg, Norfolk, and Newport News), navigate the poll taxes and literacy tests of the day; obstacles and devices common to the time/region, which were employed to result in the lowest possible Black voter participation. (Watch the video above of Harvard students taking the 1964 Louisiana literacy test.)
Richmond, Va. was, is, and will always be, the "Capitol of the Confederacy." What's that you say?... Helping Black people vote?... 10 years before the 1965 Voting Rights Act?... In the very segregated-- JIM CROW-- "Capitol of the Confederacy"??... That sounds kind of... possibly... dangerous?
Well, yes; it was both; kind of, and very possibly dangerous.
Still, the 30 year old Black gentleman and his principle cohorts, (his wife; Mr. Johnny Brooks, and Dr. William Thornton-- A.K.A-- "The Crusade For Voters") did it anyway. For 10 - 12 years they worked diligently, registering voters throughout Virginia, with great success; and at the age of 42, this young Black man was elected to the Virginia General Assembly, becoming the first Black person elected to serve in the Virginia General Assembly since the post Civil War "Reconstruction" Era.
Well, let's see; if he was 30 years old in 1955, and 42 years old in 1967, that would make him... 90 years old?? Going on 91???
HE'S 90 YEARS OLD YA'LL!!!! Dr. Fergie Reid, Sr., a trailblazing, iconic, indefatigable, OLD DUDE; is still working the drill, advocating for greater voter participation in the face of "New Age" obstacles to voting; he is still doing "The Work."
To celebrate his 90th birthday, some of his friends in Richmond, "threw him" a voter education and registration project - and a birthday party. They set a goal for Virginia activists to register 90 new voters per precinct by Nov. 2016, approximating 250,000 newly registered voters in Virginia for the 2016 Presidential cycle. To date, ~ 180,000 new voters have been registered. 90for90.org is well on the way to exceeding its Virginia target. Not bad; not bad at all.
But wait a minute... If Virginia can do it... EVERY STATE CAN DO IT!! OH, SNAP!!!!
90for90.org is a movement of candidates, activists, organizations, unions, etc.; who believe that, "VOTING IS GOOD", and that, "PEOPLE SHOULDN'T BE BLOCKED FROM VOTING." They also believe that Dr. Reid's political achievements, and his body of "voting advocacy" work, should be honored, recognized, shared, and appreciated; and that their support for this project expresses their recognition and appreciation.
Each of the project's supporters agrees to engage voters, and potential voters, all year long - every year; not just during the several weeks prior to the voter registration deadline; because, when more people vote, the famous phrase, "...of, by, and for the people," has greater weight, right? Yes it does!! It's very weighty!!
"So what can I do? I can't register 90 people to vote. No way, I'm not even a really political person. What do you want me to do? 90 voters? That's 'pie in the sky.'"
Exactly! Don't register 90 people! Instead, start inside your own circle; nucleus; home; house; cohort group. "Start With One."
If 90 of you, who are now reading this sentence, register just one new voter-- possibly the high school/college student who occasionally visits your home, with whom you share your food, and your last name-- Well Dang!! There's 90 new voters right there! You get it. Start where you are. Talk to the folk who are right next to you. If you are a high school junior/senior-- college student... YOU HAVE THE POWER!!!
You and your friends and homies are THE ANSWER. Register to Vote Get your group talking about VOTING! If your age group comes out to vote, things will get better, sooner. Educate yourself; vote your conscience; you have choices:
• Donnie "Trump Card" Drumpf?
• "Rafael" Cruz?
• "Bootsie" Rubio?
• Possibly you "Yearn to Bern," or you may be, "Ready for Hillary?"
It's your decision; you make it. Cast your vote. You and your people are, "THE PEOPLE." All of us, together, are "THE PEOPLE."
"...Government of the people, by the people, and for the people, shall not perish from the Earth." Wow! So wise! So true! But only when "THE PEOPLE" cast their vote.
(Reposted from Down With Tyranny, and with thanks also to Dr. F. Reid, Jr.)
Join 90 For 90 here.
More on Dr. Fergie Reid, Sr. here.
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