“The Voting Rights Act of 1964 is a landmark piece of national legislation in the United States that outlawed discriminatory voting practices that had been responsible for the widespread disenfranchisement of African Americans in the U.S.
“Echoing the language of the 15th Amendment, the Act prohibits states from imposing any 'voting qualification or prerequisite to voting, or standard, practice, or procedure … to deny or abridge the right of any citizen of the United States to vote on account of race or color ….'” (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Voting_Rights_Act)
The Act is before the United States Supreme Court. Reading about the challenge to the Act and some remarks of certain Justices of the Supreme Court, I found my mind wandering back to Lucius.
Lucius was my friend for several years, those years between the eighth grade and the time I got my driver's license.
Lucius didn't live in my neighborhood. He lived in a neighborhood off the main road about a mile north of my neighborhood. The streets in my neighborhood were paved; the streets in Lucius' neighborhood were dirt. The lawns in my neigborhood were manicured and green with grass. The lawns at Lucius' neighborhood were dirt. My house was brick. Lucius house was a weatherd board frame structure that didn't seem big enough to accommodate Lucius and his siblings.
Lucius didn't ride my school bus. He rode another bus. Lucius didn't go to my school. Though we were the same age and lived only a mile from each other, Lucius went to another school on the other side of the county. I used to bring a lot of books home to do my homework. Lucius didn't bring any books home. Back then, naïve as I was, I thought that was because he was so smart.
Lucius' daddy shopped at the big department where my grandfather shopped. My grandfather used to take me there when he went shopping. And on occasion, Lucius and I would be there at the same time. We'd hang out together while my grandfather and his daddy would do their shopping. We'd hang out, that is, until one of us had to go the bathroom. We couldn't use the same bathroom. In fact, we couldn't drink from the same water fountain either. There was a law against it.
We were too young back then to talk much about politics. So, I don't recall ever asking Lucius who he'd vote for when Eisenhower was running for President. Looking back on it, I doubt Lucius would have been that interested. After all, no body in his family could vote.
Gracious, that was a lifetime ago. And that's the point, it was my lifetime ago. And while I'm a senior citizen to be sure, it wasn't that long ago.
I wish I knew what happened to Lucius. I'd love to ask him about his opinion of the Voting Rights Act.