Andrew Young and the Voting Rights Act of 1965

Andrew Young

hide captionYoung is an advocate for democracy and boosting voting numbers.

It has been 40 years since Congress passed the Voting Rights Act of 1965. Blacks in the United States had been given the right to vote by the Fifteenth Amendment in 1870. But many counties imposed poll taxes, literacy tests and other obstacles for those who tried to cast a ballot.

Andrew Young helped draft the Voting Rights Act while he was an executive assistant to Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. He went on to become a member of Congress, U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, and the mayor of Atlanta.

Young talks with Scott Simon about the fight to protect the right to vote for minorities and the current state of democracy in America.

Comments

 

Please keep your community civil. All comments must follow the NPR.org Community rules and terms of use, and will be moderated prior to posting. NPR reserves the right to use the comments we receive, in whole or in part, and to use the commenter's name and location, in any medium. See also the Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Community FAQ.

Support comes from: