The death of Rep. John Lewis renewed attention to the commitment and courage of people of faith who struggled to ensure that African Americans could exercise their right to vote in the Deep South and elsewhere during the Jim Crow era. The sixth and final program in the Freedom Forum’s Religious Resolve series will lift up and honor the stories of three lesser-known activists who also put their lives on the line to protect voting rights. From these stories of the 1960s, we can take both inspiration and instruction for putting faith into action today.
McArthur Myers, citizen historian and Alexandria (Va.) Living Legend, will tell the story of the Rev. Joseph Carter who, after years of trying and a long night in jail, became the first African American to successfully register to vote in Feliciana Parish, La., in 1963.
Audrey P. Davis, director, Alexandria (Va.) Black History Museum, will present The Louisiana Literacy Test.
The Rev. Rob Keithan, minister for Social Justice at All Souls Church Unitarian in Washington, D.C., will tell the stories of Viola Liuzzo and the Rev. James Reeb, Unitarians who followed their faith to help the struggle for voting rights in Selma, Ala., where they were murdered.
The program will be moderated by the Rev. Professor Quardricos Driskell, pastor of Beulah Baptist Church in Alexandria (Va.), policy expert, educator and lobbyist.
This series is made possible by the generous support of the Arthur Vining Davis Foundations.