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The Voting Rights Act of 1965

After nearly 100 of organized resistance, Black Americans reached a milestone victory with the passage of the Voting Rights Act of 1965.

The Act gave the federal government power to ensure that state and local voting laws were not discriminatory to any citizen eligible to vote.

The passage of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 is one of the most important civil rights laws in American history. 100 years after the end of the Civil War, the Act enforced the voting rights promises of the 15th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution that prohibits federal and state governments from denying a citizen the right to vote based on that citizen’s "race, color, or previous condition of servitude."

The law aimed to eliminate the tools of voter suppression at state and local levels that prevented African Americans from voting. Over the years, its protections have removed voting barriers for other groups, including Latin@s, Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders, American Indians, language minorities and voters with disabilities.

Fifty years later, 2015, we marked the 50th anniversary of the passage of this monumental legislation, knowing there is still much more work to be done. We need to stay restless until all receive their voting rights without strings attached or barriers to jump through.