“It’s 2008. We will vote.”

While the mainstream media is all in a tizzy over what John McCain may or may not have done (Do you have pictures? Video? A stained dress?) with a lobbyist, I came across some real news over on Black America Web:

"Over 2,000 March at Prairie View, a Reminder of Young Voters’ Engagement in ‘08 Election

Date: Wednesday, February 20, 2008
By: BlackAmericaWeb.com

A huge banner carried Tuesday by Prairie View A&M University students at the head of a march to the Waller County Courthouse said it all: “It’s 2008. We will vote.”

The Prairie View students, hundreds of them, waited for hours in line to vote after walking seven miles from campus to the county seat. Students say they wanted to protest changes the county recently made in early polling locations and show officials the impact of their political participation.

The unofficial crowd estimate was 2,200, said Prairie View Student Government Association President Andre Evans. He said about 3,000 Prairie view students in total are registered to vote.

Waller County had reduced the number of early voting locations from about six around the county to only one at its courthouse because county officials said they could not afford to operate multiple early voting locations.

After getting pressure from federal government, the county added three early voting locations, still there was not one announced for the Prairie View campus, convenient to students. An early voting site will be open this weekend at a community center in Prairie View.

The activism demonstrated by the Prairie View students is yet another example of trends observers across the country are noting as more people between the ages of 18 and 30 register to vote and take roles in political campaigns."

Wow. And then, to get even better, I was visiting some new blogs, stopped by ReadingWritingLiving and came across some video of them marching.

I had tears streaming down my face watching this. Hey, New York Times, MSNBC and CNN, this is real news. Fox News, why don't you have Bill O'Reilly talk about how students at a historically black college are standing up to the voting discrimination that's persisted for years? It must be easier to have him talk about he doesn't, "want to go on a lynching party against Michelle Obama unless there's evidence."

Yes, these students marched 7.3 miles to vote. This is not a passive generation that's coming up and I'm so happy to see them claiming what's rightfully theirs, by any means necessary.


Mamita Umita said…
This is great indeed. Just what I needed to see after I heard this morning that our President wants to cut $85 million designated for historically black colleges and universities. Disappointing but not surprising i'm afraid.
Liz Dwyer said…
That's insane that he wants to cut that funding. I hadn't heard. What a travesty.
Jameil said…
liz. i have chills on my entire body. amazing. from six around the county to only one?!?! what on earth!? that was amazing.
Anonymous said…
I hope the university allows students the day to go vote, because we all know there will be voting machine problems, ID machine problems, civil disturbances and whatever other issues they can pull out of the woodwork to keep young blacks from voting...I wonder if there is a movement in other black colleges...especially the bigger more prestigious colleges like Morehouse, Howard, Spelman...I hope those students are just as aware as these students!
1969 said…
This is amazing and I plan on sharing. Thanks for posting this Liz.
Anonymous said…
You Know thatclip can not be on the evening news - if people saw all those blacks youths marching they'd get scared and say if Obama wins blacks will be out of control marching all over the place and taking advantage of their rights!!!!LOL
Thanks for the post Liz. I did not see this in the mainstream media.
Toni Campbell said…
Of the many news sources that I come across daily, I only heard this story on the Tom Joyner Morning Show. They also were the only ones to cover the story 4 years ago when they were denied to vote.
Remnants of U said…
Wow! According to mainstream media Black young adults are not interested in voting. And to see them marching together ahh it makes me proud and warms my heart.
Liz Dwyer said…
Isn't that clip amazing? It's one of the more inspiring things I've seen this year. But of course the

I'm sure there will be lots of problems. Even here in LA there were major issues with voting. People got to polling places only to discover their site got moved.

I know a couple folks who have relatives at those schools and they've talked about how they were really mobilized.

Isn't it amazing? This is the kind of good news about our young people we as bloggers can spread because otherwise we don't hear it.

Isn't that the truth! They'd be all, "Momma, is that in our neighborhood? Git the shotgun and the dogs!" -- Okay, that was so stereotypical of me because we all know somebody who dresses professionally and claims to have one black friend would be scared too.

I keep expecting to see this pop up on some news show or site...and it's not. It's disappointing because folks marching that far to vote really is news.

Gosh, I don't even know what station TJ's show comes on out here. I really count myself as fortunate that I stumbled across this online.

Remnants of U,
Welcome! Glad to have you visit and comment.

I felt really proud as well. I have watched the clip several times and bawl like a baby every single time. It gets you in the gut to see that level of mobilization and solidarity.

I've noticed that some of these news shows never trot out the young black commentator to talk politics. They'll have the young Latina, the young white guy, but never the youthful black face. It's always someone who's been around for 20 years. But no, there are plenty of young folks interested in voting and making sure they are not disenfranchised like their ancestors have been.
Lisa Johnson said…
This is real news! And good news! Thanks for putting it out here for us!
Liz Dwyer said…
Oh, I just realized I never finished my thought... these dang kids distracting me!

Yes, this IS real news, isn't it! It's news I'm happy to share.
Unknown said…
I hadn't heard this story before reading your post. Thank you very much for sharing the 411...

It should be an exciting election cycle. I made prediction earlier this week that Hillary will concede on March 5th...

peace, Villager
Jen said…
This is amazing, and so important! I watched this with my almost 15-year-old son and for the first time, he got what a privilege it is to vote and a duty. Sadly, he's already seen many instances of government manipulation, racism, voting discrepancies. What a hopeful, incredible group of students.

And yes, it totally sucks that this doesn't make the national news.
Liz Dwyer said…
I wonder if she will concede then. If she does lose, but not by a huge margin, she'll still be awarded a decent share of delegates. I think she might wait till after PA. But we will see!

That's really cool that you watched it with your son. I wish more young folks could see the positive, see what's possible when young people mobilize and take action like this.
Unknown said…
IN-credible. After hearing 2004 stories where they were making senior citizens travel 90 miles to vote in the south ~ I really thought these types of issues had been addressed! Thanks Liz, we have to all contact our legislators and implore this must end!
Liz Dwyer said…
I definitely think voting rights needs to be thoroughly addressed in this country. We are sorely lacking. The irregularities and shenanigans here in LA were just ridiculous but at least I only have to walk six blocks to my polling place. I emailed a link to the clip to Barbara Boxer and Nancy Pelosi. I'm sure I'll get a form letter back but I'm glad I did just the same.

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