Updated: Nov 7, 2018
If Rosa spent election day with you, would she beam with pride or would she shake her head in disappointment at your lack of understanding of the privilege you have to just walk in and vote for whichever candidates you choose?
Most everyone knows that in order to vote, all you have to do is register in advance and then pull up to the polls and vote. Now of days it is even more convenient to vote early. But what you may not be aware of is twelve years before Ms. Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat to a white man on the bus in Montgomery, Alabama, she had to fight a dignified war just to vote. She took voting very seriously.
Here are the facts:
· Rosa Parks lived in Montgomery Alabama in 1943
· During that time Jim Crow laws were in full effect. As a result African Americans had to pass a literacy test in order to register to vote
· The 1st time Rosa took the test, she passed (I’m not surprised, she was fab!) Unfortunately she never received her voting card in the mail.
· She went back to take the test a second time and officials informed her the she failed the test. When she asked to see the results, she was denied.
· In 1945 Ms. Parks went back a third time to take the test to be registered to vote. She again was told that she had passed the test and that her card would be mailed.
· Because Rosa Parks was on her game, she stayed and hand-copied all of the questions and answers to the test to ensure that she wouldn’t be denied her card. (Love her tenacity!)
· Ms. Rosa Parks finally received her card in the mail that year.
Question: Would you have been as persistent?
Sadly enough, when she went to vote, the poll workers ordered her to pay a poll tax of $1.50, not only for that voting year, but for every year she had been eligible to vote. (Keep in mind, she didn't vote those years). Rosa was 32 at that time. In order to vote, she had to pay $16.50. Rosa was a seamstress and that was a lot of money in the 40’s. However, Rosa Parks understood what so many more of us must grasp, voting is our way to exercise our voice and let it be known that collectively we can cause a shift, even if it is slight. Shifts make the difference.
Ms. Parks sacrificed who knows what, groceries, a light bill, rent, but she paid the money and cast her vote. This wonder woman voted in every subsequent election in her lifetime.
It costs you nothing to vote!
Did she waste her time? Are you carrying on her legacy? Do you respect her sacrifice enough to sacrifice a drive to the polls?
Get out and vote! Let your voice be heard!
Wisdom will save you from the ways of wicked men, from men whose words are perverse,