Conyers: Congress must restore the Voting Rights Act

Rep. John Conyers, D-Detroit, pictured with Coretta Scott King in 1978, was instrumental in passing the Voting Rights Act 50 years ago. (Photo: The Detroit News)

Today marks the 50th anniversary of the Voting Rights Act. President Lyndon B. Johnson, upon signing the landmark legislation, declared: “Today is a triumph for freedom as huge as any victory that’s ever been won on any battlefield. … And today we strike away the last major shackle of … fierce and ancient bonds.”

There was an overwhelming need for this law. For 100 years following the end of the Civil War, millions of African-Americans were denied the right to vote through a vast array of state-sanctioned methods, such as literacy tests and poll taxes.  Read More