Reflect: Key People, Connections and Discussion Questions

This page is about reflection.

You’ll find a list of some of the key people and organizations relevant to this section. You’ll also find a section called intersectionality to encourage thinking about how different issues are connected, and discussion questions to encourage deeper thinking. Take some time to answer the questions, look these people up and learn more about their stories.

The content on this site is not complete: there are countless numbers of people and so many stories — from small acts of defiance to major leadership positions — that didn’t get recorded or that don’t often make it into textbooks.

This website is meant to be grown and improved upon. We’ve included some of the heroes, but if you know people we are missing, let us know so we can include their stories too.

Intersectionality

Imagine that you are given the right to vote but you are told that in order to do so, you need to be able to complete a series of tests that you have never been given the opportunity to study for.

Because of the limitations on your rights, you did not have access to education, probably were never taught (at least legally) how to read, and you do not have documents because you and your family were slaves. Does this mean you have any less knowledge of the world you’re a part of? Does this mean that you then have nothing to contribute to make your community/state/nation better?

If you cannot imagine these kinds of experiences or have never faced them, this is probably because you have the privilege of being educated, literate, and in this time, white.

Being aware of your privilege, your positionality, is important then to be able to be aware of and understand the experiences of those with less privilege, especially those of marginalized intersectional identities (being Black or non-white, a woman, LGBTQ, of a particular socioeconomic class, etc.).

Discussion Questions: 
What are implicit barriers? What do you think it was like to be kept from being able to vote even though you were technically able to do so according to the Constitution?
Do you think implicit barriers to voting exist today? If so, what are some examples?
These legal and illegal barriers to voting - or tools of suppression - were in effect for almost 90 years, why do you think it took so long for things to change?