Overcoming Voter Suppression with Nse Ufot

Demonstrators walking with signs
Via Flickr
Cydney Smith
October 19, 2020

His hands trembled. He knew there was a slim chance that this would work – but the alternative, accepting defeat, was too abysmal to bear anymore. He was next in line. As a Black man in America, would his vote count?

It’s heartbreaking to admit, but this description of a Black man attempting to vote can be found in ANY era of American history. Because voter suppression has become an age-old tactic to oppress us. 

But Nse Ufot refuses to let her vote be silenced. And on PushBlack’s Black History Year podcast, we got an opportunity to talk with the changemaker about voting.

In the interview, Ufot - executive director of The New Georgia Project - delves into what the vote is and what it isn’t:

“Your vote is not a gift to the candidate. Your vote is the thing that you do for the people that you love - for yourself and the people that you love. For your squad, for your community. So you’re not giving candidate X a gift by voting. You are saying this is what I want for myself and my loved ones - and I’m trying to find somebody I can negotiate with.”

America’s democracy has done little for us. She details how and WHY she’s taking back control of the ball this country dropped:

“We absolutely encourage people while we are organizing. While we are in the streets, we are absolutely registering people to vote and encouraging them to use their vote as their voice and as a tool. I’m not taking NOTHING off the table in my quest for liberation, and that includes voting.”

It doesn’t stop at voting, and Nse emphasizes the bigger vision beyond the ballot:

“We have a vision for a system that works for us that isn’t extractive and takes and takes AND TAKES and doesn’t reinvest into us as people, into our families, into our businesses, into the kind of communities that we want to live in.”

In the weeks before a major election like the one looming before us, voting is essential. Do not suppress yourself - use your voice through your vote!

Get more voting knowledge by tuning into “The Power of the Black Voter” on the Black History Year podcast, streaming anywhere podcasts are available. Let’s take back our knowledge and get empowered.

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