The Voting Rights Act enfranchised millions of Americans and is widely regarded as the crowning achievement of the civil rights movement. The historic march from Selma to Montgomery, grassroots demonstrations across the South, and legislative pressures in both Congress and the courts radically transformed American politics. And yet fifty years later we're still fighting heated battles over race, representation, and political power.
As chronicled in Ari Berman's new book, Give Us the Ballot: The Modern Struggle for Voting Rights in America, we're at an alarming moment in history when lawmakers are being criticized for devising new strategies to keep certain communities out of the voting booth. In such a political climate, on the heels of the Supreme Court's decision overturning a key part of the Voting Rights Act, is there a new struggle for voting rights in America, or is a decades-long fight still unresolved? What will these tensions mean for the U.S. campaign system and an already hotly contested 2016 presidential race?
Join New America NYC on the eve of the 50th anniversary of the passage of the Voting Rights Act for a timely conversation with some of the country's leading civil rights experts on the modern struggle for voting rights and what it means for our larger understanding of freedom and democracy in America.Copies of Ari Berman's Give Us the Ballot: The Modern Struggle for Voting Rights in America will be available for purchase. Follow the discussion online using #NANYC and by following @NewAmericaNYC.
Contributing Writer, The Nation
Investigative Journalism Fellow, The Nation Institute
Author, Give Us The Ballot: The Modern Struggle for Voting Rights in America
Leading Civil Rights Lawyer
Former Director-Counsel, NAACP Legal Defense and Educational FundMaya Wiley
Counsel to the Mayor, City of New York
Founder, Center for Social Inclusion
Malcolm Stevenson Forbes, Class of 1941 Professor of History and Public Affairs, Princeton University
Author, The Fierce Urgency of Now: Lyndon Johnson, Congress, and the Battle for the Great Society
Ford Academic Fellow, New America