Tag Archives: Civil Rights Act

“LIVE YOUR DREAMS’ Celebrate Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

I just finished listening to the speech that Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. made the night before he was assassinated. It made me break down and cry. So powerful and filled with so much emotion. He knew at that time he was going to die; very deep. He did not run, cower, complain or mumble, he did what GOD put him here to do; that was to make positive change. And he did just that. His spirit continues to live on and push us to do what is right.

I wonder what Dr. King would do in this time? I remember he said in his speech, “Darkness cannot put out darkness, only light can put out darkness”.  That is so true. I look at what is going on in Washington and I see the dark ages trying to slip itself back in, I see people who swore to uphold the Constitution of the United States, now trampling it under their feet. Greed has poisoned most of our politicians and racism is running rampant. I think if Dr. King were here now, he would be marching once again.

Dr. King’s Dream was much more than race, it was about equality for all people. He stated in his speech about the need for restructuring the whole of American Society. He saw the inequality of wages, wealth and opportunities much like what the Occupy people are speaking of.  It’s just that People of Color have been going through this much longer than they have, it unfortunately has become a way of life for too many Black folks and now Latinos.  Dr. King said that we must end the “Economic Racism’ that exists here in America.  That in itself is very profound as that is at the heart of many problems; unequal economics and the lack of real opportunities  for People of Color and now other races.

We must take what Dr. King spoke of when he said, ‘I Have A Dream’, and make it our own.  Do not give up and do not give in to negativity. Despite all of the horrors that he faced while marching for what was right, he still saw the goodness in humanity and saw that ‘We Will Overcome’ someday. The only way we can overcome is to Live Our Dreams.  Be the best that you can be personally, that will in turn help you and all people and situations in your life. It is easier said than done but it must be done for humanity to evolve to the next level. We must make this world a better place for our children and to give ourselves the opportunity to be happy, healthy, wealthy and loved. That may mean taking a risk that you never thought of before.  Taking a risk on You! Fear is like a vampire as it takes away our desire to BE WHO GOD MEANT US TO BE!  Conquer your fears by thinking this:’ What always is, will be and what is not, never will be!! So don’t worry about what may or may not happen, just do it!!  Celebrate yourself, respect your elders and learn from them as they have traveled a path you have yet to take. Lastly, let’s celebrate Dr. King’s Birthday!!  May his legacy live on forever and thanks to all of the people who helped to make his birthday a national holiday and thanks to all of the people, Black and White, who marched with Dr. King!  You stood up and helped America be a better place when it was very dark.  Now the work must continue as some of us have forgotten and want to turn the clock back!!  That must not happen, we must move forward!! Stand up for what is right and good!!


Peggy D


Why I am Voting

 It seems there is a big battle going on with Democrats and Republicans. To me ‘We the People’ has been lost in all of this. I well know what media can do to change people’s minds and put fear into their hearts.  The Internet has become a balancing factor.  It gives voice to the ones of us who have something to say whether it’s for or against something. That is how things were meant to be in the first place.  My reason for voting is the fact that my ancestors and the people before me went to the limit to get us the freedom to vote. It has been a long hard road and I am not going to just sit here and not use the opportunity that has been created for me. Lots of people are unhappy about the way things are today and all they do is complain. You have to get up and do something about it. You have to ‘Be The Change You Want To See In the World’, and that is a quote that I live by.

Did you all know that the Voting Rights Act of 1965  came right after the Civil Rights Act of 1964?  That was not long ago. We tend to forget all of the efforts that had to be put in for us to even sit at the front of the bus.  Did you also know that some Republicans fought against the renewal of the Voting Rights Act in 2006? Can you believe that?  Such Racists and bigots those few Republican members of Congress are and in this day and age, it is so childish to stand in the way of equality for all people. But that is what fear will do to you. So lets all go out and vote tomorrow, whether you are Democrat or Republican, we all need to work together to make the country better.  I have put together some info about the Voting rights act of 1866 and the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to refresh everyone’s memory of how hard it has been for African-Americans in this country and how far we have come today, and still a long way to go. Lets not forget about the sexism, homophobia and bigotry that exists here also. We have to get rid of it. We are all GOD’s children and hate and fear has to be replaced with love, compassion, understanding and acceptance.


The Civil Rights Act (1866) was passed by Congress on 9th April 1866 over the veto of President Andrew Johnson. The act declared that all persons born in the United States were now citizens, without regard to race, color, or previous condition. As citizens they could make and enforce contracts, sue and be sued, give evidence in court, and inherit, purchase, lease, sell, hold, and convey real and personal property. Persons who denied these rights to former slaves were guilty of a misdemeanor and upon conviction faced a fine not exceeding $1,000, or imprisonment not exceeding one year, or both. The activities of organizations such as the Ku Klux Klan undermined the workings of this act and it failed to guarantee the civil rights of African Americans.



the voting rights act of 1965

The 1965 Enactment

By 1965 concerted efforts to break the grip of state disfranchisement had been under way for some time, but had achieved only modest success overall and in some areas had proved almost entirely ineffectual. The murder of voting-rights activists in Philadelphia, Mississippi, gained national attention, along with numerous other acts of violence and terrorism. Finally, the unprovoked attack on March 7, 1965, by state troopers on peaceful marchers crossing the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Alabama, en route to the state capitol in Montgomery, persuaded the President and Congress to overcome Southern legislators’ resistance to effective voting rights legislation. President Johnson issued a call for a strong voting rights law and hearings began soon thereafter on the bill that would become the Voting Rights Act.

Congress determined that the existing federal anti-discrimination laws were not sufficient to overcome the resistance by state officials to enforcement of the 15th Amendment. The legislative hearings showed that the Department of Justice’s efforts to eliminate discriminatory election practices by litigation on a case-by-case basis had been unsuccessful in opening up the registration process; as soon as one discriminatory practice or procedure was proven to be unconstitutional and enjoined, a new one would be substituted in its place and litigation would have to commence anew.

President Johnson signed the resulting legislation into law on August 6, 1965.  Section 2 of the Act, which closely followed the language of the 15th amendment, applied a nationwide prohibition against the denial or abridgment of the right to vote on the literacy tests on a nationwide basis. Among its other provisions, the Act contained special enforcement provisions targeted at those areas of the country where Congress believed the potential for discrimination to be the greatest. Under Section 5, jurisdictions covered by these special provisions could not implement any change affecting voting until the Attorney General or the United States District Court for the District of Columbia determined that the change did not have a discriminatory purpose and would not have a discriminatory effect. In addition, the Attorney General could designate a county covered by these special provisions for the appointment of a federal examiner to review the qualifications of persons who wanted to register to vote. Further, in those counties where a federal examiner was serving, the Attorney General could request that federal observers monitor activities within the county’s polling place.The Voting Rights Act had not included a provision prohibiting poll taxes, but had directed the Attorney General to challenge its use. In Harper v. Virginia State Board of Elections, 383 U.S. 663 (1966), the Supreme Court held Virginia’s poll tax to be unconstitutional under the 14th Amendment. Between 1965 and 1969 the Supreme Court also issued several key decisions upholding the constitutionality of Section 5 and affirming the broad range of voting practices that required Section 5 review. As the Supreme Court put it in its 1966 decision upholding the constitutionality of the Act:

Congress had found that case-by-case litigation was inadequate to combat wide-spread and persistent discrimination in voting, because of the inordinate amount of time and energy required to overcome the obstructionist tactics invariably encountered in these lawsuits. After enduring nearly a century of systematic resistance to the Fifteenth Amendment, Congress might well decide to shift the advantage of time and inertia from the perpetrators of the evil to its victims.


South Carolina v. Katzenbach, 383 U.S. 301, 327-28 (1966).



Peggy D