Category: Civil Rights
Rep. Terri Sewell, D-Birmingham, the lone Democrat in Alabama’s seven-member congressional delegation, is seeking to grow the party with a two-pronged approach — countering Republican-backed voting restrictions while raising money to protect Democratic incumbents against challenges from the left.
First elected in 2011, Sewell has for four successive congresses introduced legislation to restore much of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, legislation that mandated federal oversight of election laws in areas with a history of racial discrimination. That historic legislation was largely struck down by the Supreme Court in 2013. The court’s ruling that the law’s requirements were outdated led to state legislatures issuing a ream of voting restrictions in the wake of that decision.
This year, Sewell again introduced the bill, House Resolution 4, newly named the John R. Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act in honor of the Alabama-born Georgia congressman and civil rights icon who died last year.
Alabama’s COVID-19 case count continued to rise Friday as the state Department of Public Health reported 1,733 new cases.
There have been 567,243 cases in the state over the course of the pandemic, with an average of 1,238 new cases a day over the past week. The seven-day moving figure had dropped to 121 on July 6 but has steadily risen since then.
ADPH said the number of people hospitalized for the coronavirus reached 727 Friday, more than triple the total of 204 at the beginning of the month.
A group of young civil rights activists began their journey to the South to challenge segregation on interstate buses in May 1961. The riders were taunted and beaten by white mobs – and jailed. Participants of the movement share what their fight means now. Read more.
Even during a pandemic, you can find 90-year-old Fred Gray Sr. at his law office in Tuskegee. He’s been fully vaccinated against COVID-19.
“He’s still working every day,” Fred Gray Jr. said. “It is not because he has to, but it’s because it’s that fire in his belly and it’s because he still wants to help people.”
Gray Jr. and his dad are partners in their law firm. Gray Jr. said his dad just won’t slow down. In fact he’s currently working on behalf of the Macon County Commission to remove a confederate monument in the heart of downtown Tuskegee.
Gray Jr. said his dad’s drive and tenacity are only part of the reason he should be awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian honor.
“His IQ and his work is right up there with men like Thurgood Marshall, Oliver Hill and Wiley Branton,” he said. Read more.