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24 March 2014 @ 09:38 pm
A brief moment of seriousness  
I read a great number of articles every month, and have for many years. When I was a young person, I had bulging folders of articles I had been so impressed by that I cut them out for rereading or reference.

At the risk of sounding like a jaded old mag hag, it is very rare that I read anything that has that sort of impression on me these days.

And then, on the weekend, I was taking the time to read a New Yorker I had missed last year and I came across this article. And it was one of those moments, where someone's words were revelatory, taking a story that I thought I knew and showing me that my knowledge was but a veneer, that behind the public story was a deeper, more astonishing one.

It is 'The Color of Law', by Louis Menand, and it tells the story of the fight for voter registration of black Americans in Southern states during the segregation era, in the light of several documentary books and films and against the recent Supreme Court decision to strike down a part of the Voting Rights Act.

Some of it shocked me, violence that I had known of as lists of names and events was told in harrowing detail. And some of it surprised me: I didn't know that a major factor in the US Federal government interfering in what it had previously seen as State issues was the Cold War, nor that the Vietnam War derailed a continued focus on legislative improvements in franchise for black Americans.

But mostly it made me remember that standing up for what you believe to be right is essential. And if you have a free 20 minutes or so, I thoroughly recommend it to you. The New Yorker has free archives, so access is open to all. Bless em.
illereynillereyn on March 24th, 2014 12:31 pm (UTC)
Thank you. It was a great article
chamekkechamekke on March 24th, 2014 02:29 pm (UTC)
Thank you for the link. That was an astonishing article.
Geneva2010geneva2010 on March 26th, 2014 05:05 am (UTC)
Thank you
l.m.incandescent on March 26th, 2014 04:42 pm (UTC)
That does look good - I've pulled it up and am looking forward to reading. Thank you for sharing!
mrsquizzicalmrsquizzical on March 30th, 2014 12:02 am (UTC)
thanks for that link.
Nennenenne on April 16th, 2014 08:11 am (UTC)
That was only 50 years ago! It feels like it should be longer, much longer.

Thanks for the link.