I just saw a couple tweets complaining about how people were trying to persuade them to get out and vote this year.
As someone who's researched the voting rights struggle, I've always found that dismissive attitude pretty infuriating. But never more than now.
I'm a historian, so let me do what we do, and offer reminders about what Americans sacrificed to get full access to the ballot.
This history goes back centuries, but I work on the modern civil rights era. We don't have to go back further than that to see the price people paid.
Reverend George Lee in Belzoni, Mississippi, used his pulpit and his printing press to encourage African Americans to register to vote.
For his troubles, he was assassinated by three men with shotguns in May 1955. pic.twitter.com/dTiOCytetI
In 1961, voting rights activist Herbert Lee was murdered by a state legislator in front of a dozen witnesses.
After a few years, one of the witnesses offered to testify about the murder. The night before he was going to leave the state, he was killed outside his home. pic.twitter.com/q3DVXehxLG
Medgar Evers, the head of the Mississippi NAACP, had been actively involved in a lot of this work.
In June 1963, he was gunned down by an assassin in his driveway. The full story here: https://t.co/ryHpLRtTts
Most famously, in the summer of 1964, three voting rights activists -- James Chaney, Andrew Goodman, and Mickey Schwerner -- were detained by cops and then murdered by Klansmen in Philadelphia, Mississippi. pic.twitter.com/GOdRpbBZlr