A Civil Rights Primer Lends Importance to Super Tuesday

Mar 2, 2020

A visitor at the National Civil Rights Museum views an exhibit on voting.
Credit Eden Strachan

For parents like Trevor Stanley, a visit to the National Civil Rights Museum in Memphis, just days before Super Tuesday, offered a primer on the importance of voting.

“If you don’t know history, you’re doomed to repeat it,” Stanley said. “I want to teach them the wrongs of our past, and maybe it will help our future out if more people do that.”

As fourteen states including Tennessee and Alabama prepare for the primaries, visitors to the site where Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was assassinated had to consider both the past and immediate future. What does it mean to vote? How are we educating the younger generation on voting?

“If you don’t vote, you can’t complain,” said Fallicion Earnest, a middle school teacher who brought students from Little Rock for the day.

Earnest stated that she wants her students to understand the sacrifices their ancestors made to secure the right to vote.

“It’s different the way our kids are raised today, and the way they learn history and the importance of history and they truly don’t understand what our ancestors went through for us to be here and where we are today.”

The former mayor of Flint, Mich., Karen Weaver, was in Memphis campaigning for Michael Bloomberg. She, along with other politicians have expressed recent concerns about voting rights and voter suppression in the 2020 election.  

“As a black person, we all need to come through here, and I hope it lets us know why it’s so important to exercise the right to vote. And what people went through so we could vote, and people died and the fear they must of been facing to do some of the courageous things they did.”