The Forgotten History of the Voting Rights Act

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The U.S. Supreme Court is expected to rule this month on a challenge by Shelby County, Alabama, to a portion of the 1965 Voting Rights Act. It’s legislation that in a certain sense was born in Alabama because of what’s known as Bloody Sunday. On March 7, 1965, police brutally beat protesters on Selma’s Edmund Pettus Bridge which spurred President Lyndon Johnson to push for the bill. But University of Delaware history professor Gary May says there’s much more to the Voting Rights Act. He writes about the law in his book Bending Toward Justice: The Voting Rights Act and the Transformation of American Democracy. May tells WBHM’s Andrew Yeager work was well underway before Bloody Sunday.

Hear Gary May’s thoughts on the current challenge to the Voting Rights Act in an extended interview

~ Andrew Yeager, June 07, 2013