In 2013, the Supreme Court reversed the Voting Rights Act of 1965, indicating that states could no longer be judged by voting discrimination, inferring the country has fundamentally changed since the Act’s passage five decades ago. The recent horrific massacre in Charleston obviously discounts that claim.
Sheri Holbrook Labedis, author of “You Came Here to Die, Didn’t You,” writes of her experiences in 1965, when she responded to Martin Luther King, Jr.’s request for white people to help register black voters in the South. Coincidentally, she was first sent to Charleston for training, and then to the poverty-stricken community of Pineville for canvassing. Witnessing the extreme change of culture from that of her hometown in California, the experiences of the young, naive 18-year-old deeply impacted her life, on many levels.