On August 6, 1965 President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the Voting Rights Act. Although the Fifteenth Amendment of the United States Constitution granted people of color the right to vote, we were not protected from the unjust practices to drive people away from the polls. The Voting Rights Act of 1965 was and still remains a historical milestone of the 1960s Civil Rights Movement. For the first time, legislation was enacted to ensure all African-Americans and other minorities could participate in the voting process.
Now, forty-nine years later, our right to vote is under attack. In 2013, the Supreme Court struck down a very important section of the Voting Rights Act. Section Four created the formula that identified specific areas that exhibited outright discrimination at the polls. For these areas, the law mandated they go through a “preclearance” (Section Five) before they were able to amend different voting laws. Sadly, in the Supreme Court Case Shelby v. Holder, the court held that the formula was outdated and struck down as unconstitutional.
This hit to the Voting Rights Act has put the minority vote at stake, especially African Americans. The fight was long and hard but it is not yet over. There have been years of strategic planning to take back the black vote. On this day, we must remember that complacency will only lead to defeat. And defeated we will not be! While this is a time to celebrate a victory of gaining our right to vote free of poll taxes, literacy tests and threat of violence, it must not overshadow the uphill battle to stop voter suppression in our communities.
Working as the NAACP Social Media and Online Specialist, I must stay in tune with the latest online trends and updates. To help me along in my technical experience, I attended the Google for Media Summit in New York, NY this week. The event featured great insight into Google products, which include Youtube, Google Plus and Google Hangouts. It was a very educational experience considering the NAACP utilizes Hangout on Air for advocacy web programming, including the Youth and College web show, #YCLive and a Google+ presence, which has over 100,000 followers.
There are many tools and applications that can be used to help your experience with Google products, but you must be educated about different things you can do to increase effectiveness and have the best experience as possible. Knowing this is important for media professionals.
The two-day event's workshops included Strategies for News Partners, Monetization and Analytics, Live Streaming on Youtube and Hangouts Pro-Production. There were representatives from Huffington Post, ABC, TIME, New York Times and Al Jazeera, to name a few. It was organized with help from journalism professional organizations, SPJ, ONA, NAHJ, ICFJ, NABJ, and AAJA.
We look forward to exploring more possibilities with Google and expanding our digital media presence with them in the future.
The crowd was electrified at the Mandalay Bay Resort in Las Vegas, NV during the 2014 NAACP ACT-SO Awards Show. Bresha Webb hosted the program, keeping the audience energized. There was an amazing tribute to Dr. Maya Angelou, based on her legendary poem, I Rise. R&B/pop group, McLain's performance included an ode to hip-hop legends TLC. The show concluded with the crowd participating in a sing-along of Pharell's Happy.
We are pleased to announce our 2014 NAACP ACT-SO medalists. Click here for the full list.