A Message from Si Kahn
It’s exactly 55 years since the summer of 1965, when I went South to join the Southern Civil Rights Movement. I was a volunteer with the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, more popularly known as SNCC (pronounced SNICK), the young people’s wing of The Movement that believed in living and organizing among the people. I was assigned to Forrest City, Arkansas, named after Confederate General Nathan Bedford Forrest, the first Grand Wizard of the Ku Klux Klan. All I can say is that the white people of Forrest City certainly lived up to their town’s namesake’s reputation.
Congress had just passed and President Lyndon Baines Johnson had signed the Voting Rights Act of 1965 that at least in theory prohibited racial discrimination in voting. So the leaders of SNCC decided to test whether the new law meant what it said by going up and down the streets in Forrest City’s African American neighborhoods, trying to get as many people as we could to register to vote.
Now in 2020, voting is at least as important as it was back then. That’s why Art Menius and I launched folkVOTE, to help musicians and music lovers do our part to help make sure as many people register and vote this year as possible. Nothing less than the fate of democracy is at stake.
Please send us your voting-related videos and songs
folkVOTE welcomes songs about voting and why we vote from almost all political viewpoints, left, right, or in the middle. Please send your lyrics and YouTube links, no matter how basic and homemade, to November3@folkvote.sikahn.com.
We shall not post lyrics or videos that contain what we deem to be hate speech, racist content, deliberately misleading statements, or calls to violence. folkVOTE is about inspiring people to use the ballot box to achieve positive change through full citizen participation.