Opinion — What would Ida B. Wells think about Georgia?

Published 9:36 pm Friday, August 27, 2021

Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...

I haven’t written one of those “if I could talk to anyone in history” articles in a while and with all that’s been happening this last year I have lots of topics to choose from.

If I could talk to women’s suffragist activist Ida B. Wells about anything it would be a stipulation being placed upon Georgia voters concerning bottled water at the polls. Moreover, I would inquire if she ever thought that with all the African American community endured during Reconstruction and the Civil Rights Movement, did she ever think that in 2021 the voters would not be allowed to receive bottled water to drink while standing in line to vote at Georgia’s precincts. Have you ever heard of such foolishness? Does the governor and the proponents of this new law believe that when a poll worker passes a voter a bottle of water that the name of a particular candidate will miraculously appear on the bottle?

Wells fought tirelessly to ensure that Blacks have the right to vote that includes equal access. In addition, voting hours on a Sunday in Georgia will be reduced. I didn’t even know that voting took place in some states on a Sunday and now that is in danger of being hindered. It’s a known fact that African Americans on Sundays get out of church services later in the afternoon. Another way to suppress the African American vote.

Ida, I do believe, would be shocked and disgusted. If people will have to endure these stipulations, what’s next? Ida B. Wells participated in a women’s suffrage march in Washington, D. C. during President Woodrow Wilson’s inauguration in 1913 and was asked by white suffragists to march in a separate line for colored women. You know what Ida said? “No.”

As a voter I find it amazing that those who seek positions in government come in your face asking for your vote and acting like they value your beliefs, but when (if they do) get your vote, and win they could care less about you and your concerns.

Ultimately, voting rights and voter suppression have become imperative because of the concern of African Americans and other people of color who feel that infringement on their voting rights will soon reach a climax, which has to be stopped.

We must do all we can to ensure that it doesn’t happen.

Ida B. Wells would be proud.

Judy Moore is a tour guide with The Central High Museum, lives in Wylliesburg and can be reached at v5agabond2@gmail.com.