Thursday, March 6, 2014

"Our Efforts Are Not Complete": 50th Anniversary March on Frankfort

Two days after a massive snowstorm and below-zero temperatures shut the state down, thousands of Kentuckians marched on the state Capitol to commemorate the first Civil Rights March in Kentucky and vow to keep fighting.

Linda Blackford at the Herald:

A nostalgic re-enactment of a civil rights march on Frankfort that 50 years ago featured Martin Luther King Jr. and baseball star Jackie Robinson turned into a political rally on the perennial issue of voting rights.
Several thousand people of all ages marched up Capitol Avenue under cold sunny skies Wednesday morning to hear speakers urge more support for House Bill 70, which would restore voting rights to most felons who have served their time.

"I want to say to you, ladies and gentlemen, that the right to vote is a sacred right," said Rep. Jesse Crenshaw, D-Lexington, who has worked unsuccessfully on similar legislation for the past 10 years. "It is not a privilege like driving a car. It is a sacred right!"

Georgia Davis Powers, who was Kentucky's first black female state senator, spoke Wednesday 50 years after she marched in 1964 with 10,000 others on a cold, snowy day in support of civil rights legislation.

"It is a blessing for me to be able to celebrate 50 years of progress," Powers said, but "our efforts are not complete."
Powers, now 90, first started working on a public-accommodations bill in 1963. The Kentucky Civil Rights Act passed in 1966.

"But now is about House Bill 70," Powers said.
Kentucky passed the first state civil rights law in the South, but today it is one of only two states that denies voting rights to felons who have paid their debt to society.

More plus pictures here.

No comments: