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WHEN HISTORY IS PERSONAL WE WILL CONSIDER OUR VOTES ON THE BALLOT WITH CARE

WHEN HISTORY IS PERSONAL WE WILL CONSIDER OUR VOTES ON THE BALLOT WITH CARE

It was the year 1920 when my uncle John Myers left Arkansas on a train going west to California and my great grandmother Mary Lou Myers was to follow with my other aunts, uncles and 14 year old paternal grandmother at the time. They had to leave Arkansas because of America's Forgotten Mass Lynching: When 237 people were murdered in Arkansas.

In 1919, in the wake of World War I. Black sharecroppers unionized in Arkansas, unleashing a wave of white vigilantism and mass murder that left 237 people dead. Initiated by whites, the violence claimed the lives of 237 African Americans, according to a report from the Equal Justice Initiative. The death toll was unusually high, but the use of racial violence to subjugate blacks during this time was not uncommon. As the Equal Justice Initiative observes, “Racial terror lynching was a tool used to enforce Jim Crow laws and racial segregation—a tactic for maintaining racial control by victimizing the entire African American community. This was certainly true of the massacre in Phillips County, Arkansas.

If we can personalize the pain our foreparents went through, we as Black Americans would take careful consideration with our votes. Many Black families do not have any history and the awareness of slavery doesn't seem to be good enough to examine our votes. I have some history of my family's obstacles from slavery, and land being stolen, to my grandmother being slapped by a white man that I do take to heart in the voting booths when I vote for president. Voting Black has not proven us wrong although seldom we get the opportunity, but look what voting white multiple times has gotten us and where it has taken us. Nowhere.