2022 Conversations of King: Give us the ballot

Local voting rights advocates Abu Edwards, Saj “Purple” Blackwell, Brittany Smalls, and Rev. Gregory Holston join Christopher Norris for a Community Conversation about voting

On the day most Americans celebrate the birthday of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr, WHYY partnered with NewCORE, a local interfaith collective, to reflect on his 65-year-old speech, “Give Us the Ballot.”

“Give Us the Ballot” was the refrain King uttered in 1957 at the Prayer Pilgrimage for Freedom. The speech remains as relevant today as it was then.

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As America again finds itself grappling with the issue of voting rights — Democrats have been unsuccessful thus far in passing voting rights legislation in the U.S. Senate — local organizers joined Christopher “Flood the Drummer” Norris, WHYY’s Managing Editor for Community & Engagement, for a Community Conversation about democracy, equality, and the urgency of now.

In 2018, NewCORE (the New Conversation on Race and Ethnicity) launched the MLK Legacy Conversations, which considers the historic views and perspectives of Dr. King in matters of continuing social and public significance. For the past few years, WHYY, a regular convener of civic dialogue, has served as a proud partner of the “Conversations of King” series, which highlight lesser-known speeches of the civil rights leader and explore its connection to modern society.

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