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New exhibit at Charles H. Wright Museum showcases the fight, history behind voting rights

Museum reopened in July

DETROIT – In a year where racial injustice has been on everyone’s mind, when we’ve lost giants of the civil rights movement and an election just a month away, The Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History is introducing a new exhibit in hopes of energizing people about their right to vote.

The exhibit showcases a timeline of the right and the fight to vote, spanning centuries.

Voting Matters covers pre-Reconstruction America, the end of slavery, women’s suffrage and Jim Crow -- telling the lessons learned from the struggle to vote and the stories of the people who were there.

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“It is an inter generational activity,” said museum educator Yolanda Jack. “There are people who remember the first time they went to go vote and what that meant and who they voted for.”

After the fight for absentee voting and recent changes brought against two conservative political operatives accused of trying to scare Black voters in Michigan, Jack said the past isn’t the past.

The exhibit ends with the fight over the electoral college, gerrymandering and voter suppression still happening today.

“I do think that there are people who are trying to make sure there are some people in the world who can’t vote,” Jack said. “It’s a real concerted effort. Was and is. So the idea of being able to take the reigns and have some self determination -- voting speaks to that in a real way.”

Because of COVID-19 restrictions, the museum only allows 10 people in every 20 minutes and visitors are required to make an appointment. Voting Matters runs through the spring.


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