In January, my father retraced steps he took 50 years ago in Hattiesburg, Miss. As a teenager in 1964, he had locked arms with men and women of goodwill seeking the most sacred and elusive right of citizenship: the vote.
Later that year, Mississippi would become the site of the extraordinary Freedom Summer, when students and activists poured into our home state to register voters and teach in Freedom Schools. But a half-century later, freedom remains unclaimed by too many as millions of African Americans, Latinos and Asian Americans remain unregistered to vote.
The Center for American Progress (CAP) recently released a stunning study, True South: Voters of Color in the Black Belt 50 Years After Freedom Summer, examining the changing demographics in the South. The findings are straightforward but complex: Despite holding the keys to political power, too few voters of color have taken the initial step toward exercising this capacity.