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January 18, 2020

Note: Justice Talking's grant funding expired in 2008 and the project has been closed. This website is an archive of the entire run of Justice Talking shows through June 30, 2008.
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Featured Program

Photo by: Peter Pettus, Library of Congress LC-DIG-ppmsca-08102 ©1965 Peter Pettus
The Voting Rights Act: Past, Present and Future
Last Featured: 10/3/2005

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Note: Justice Talking ceased production on June 30 of 2008. Link information on this site is not maintained and is provided for historical interest only. Although correct when posted, The Annenberg Public Policy Center makes no claim as the the accuracy or continued availability of any third party web links found on this site.

In 1965, thousands of civil rights activists mobilized to protest against literacy tests, poll taxes and other discriminatory practices that had prevented African Americans from voting. This summer in Montgomery, Alabama a number of these activists gathered to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the Voting Rights Act and to remember the struggle that was required to make the country protect this most basic right for all Americans. In a special collaboration with Court TV, Justice Talking was there to capture this retelling of an important chapter of our history. Also on the program, we’ll hear a debate over the upcoming reauthorization of the Voting Rights Act.

Alex Keyssar is Matthew W. Stirling, Jr. Professor of History and Social Policy at Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government. An historian by training, he has specialized in the excavation of issues that have contemporary policy implications. His most recent book is "The Right to Vote: The Contested History of Democracy in the United States." Keyssar’s current research interests include election reform, the history of democracies, and the history of poverty.

Ronald Walters is director of the African American Leadership Institute, Distinguished Leadership Scholar at the James MacGregor Burns Academy of Leadership, and professor in government and politics at the University of Maryland. His book "Freedom is Not Enough: Black Voters, Black Candidates, and American Presidential Politics" was published in July 2005.

Abigail Thernstrom is Manhattan Institute Senior Fellow at the Manhattan Institute in New York, a member of the Massachusetts State Board of Education, and the vice-chair of the US Commission on Civil Rights. Thernstrom is co-author of "No Excuses: Closing the Racial Gap in Learning", which was published in October 2003. In 1987 she wrote "Whose Votes Count? Affirmative Action and Minority Voting Rights."

Andrew Young is an ordained minister, international businessman, human rights activist, published author and former public servant. He was a Georgia Congressman for three terms and, in 1977, President Jimmy Carter named him Ambassador to the United Nations. He also served two terms as mayor of Atlanta. He is a spokesman for Why Tuesday?

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Special Announcements
Justice Talking’s last broadcast & podcast was June 30, 2008.

ATTENTION TEACHERS: Additional materials supporting use of this program in the classroom are available: ClickHere
The Voting Rights Act of 1965
Civil Rights Coalition for the 21st Century
American Civil Liberties Union
The White House
NPR - The voting Rights Act, 40 Years Later
Why Tuesday?
Eyes on the Prize: America's Civil Rights Years, 1954-1965
by Juan Williams
Protest at Selma: Martin Luther King, Jr. and the Voting Rights Act of 1965
by David J. Garrow
Race: The History of an Idea in America
by Thomas F. Gossett
The Eyes on the Prize Civil Rights Reader : Documents, Speeches, and Firsthand Accounts from the Black Freedom Struggle
by D. Clar, David J. Garrow (Editor), Gerald Gill (Editor), Vincent Harding (Editor), Clayborne Carson (Editor)
Race and the Justice System
Employment Discrimination Post-Ledbetter
The Women's Equality Amendment