VOA has released a four-part special series on what is considered the most effective piece of civil rights legislation enacted in the United States, the Voting Rights Act of 1965. The series marks the 50th Anniversary of the legislation, on August 6.
“Voting Rights Act at 50” examines the struggle for the freedom to vote many African-Americans faced at the time, as well as the after-effects of the historic law that banned racial discrimination in the voting process for millions of African-Americans. The series is produced and reported by VOA correspondents Chris Simkins and Jeff Swicord.
Part one of the series introduces several civil rights leaders who were on the front lines and instrumental in the struggle for voting rights. The historic milestone paved the way for thousands of black and minority politicians to run for office. In part two of the special we meet several elected officials who would not have had the opportunity to serve their communities without the Voting Rights Act.
"The series addresses the history, the success and challenges that remain on the issue of voting and voting rights in a way that is compelling and comprehensive" says Clara Dominguez, Managing Editor of VOA's News Center.
Other areas of focus include voter identification laws, and how the legislation is still caught up in controversy, as well as the current debate over gerrymandering, the creation of voting boundaries to gain partisan advantage. The series will feature reports from several U.S. cities including Atlanta, Georgia; Milwaukee, Wisconsin; Madison, Wisconsin; Austin, Texas; San Antonio, Texas; and Washington, D.C.