Slavery’s Legacy: How Florida Shackled Thousands of Black Voters

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The cover story on today’s Village Voice is titled “Slavery’s Legacy: How Florida Shackled Thousands of Black Voters” and it is an in-depth look at Duval County, where almost 27,000 ballots were invalidated, many of them cast in majority-black communities.

With the presidential election results still up in the air and court battles between Democrats and Republicans heating up, many are beginning to accuse Gore and Democrats in general of running away from the real issue in these elections: the disenfranchisement of African Americans in Florida and around the country.

The Rev. Jesse Jackson and other civil rights leaders are collecting evidence of this and preparing a series of lawsuits. And Jackson has been particularly critical of the Justice Department for not taking action and sending investigators to look into whether there was a deliberate attempt to stop African Americans from voting at the polls with a series of actions–from police roadblocks, to refusing assistance to voters, to denying registered voters the right to vote by affidavit when their names did not appear on the lists.

Jackson and thousands of other civil rights and labor activists plan to hold a demonstration on Friday in front of the US Supreme Court, which will hear arguments from Republican presidential nominee George W. Bush’s lawyers.


  • Laura Conaway, Editor at The Village Voice and co-author of “Slavery’s Legacy: How Florida Shackled Thousands of Black Voters.”
  • Jim Ridgeway, Washington, DC correspondent and columnist for The Village Voice and co-author of “Slavery’s Legacy: How Florida Shackled Thousands of Voters.”
  • Rev. Jesse Jackson, head of the Rainbow-PUSH Coalition.
  • Earl Ofari Hutchinson, columnist and journalist.

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