Do You Remember When the Voting Rights Act Passed? Tell Us Your Story

BY Katelyn Polantz and Colleen Shalby  February 11, 2013 at 4:20 PM EST

Demonstrators picket in favor of a strong civil rights plank outside GOP convention hall in Chicago July 1960. Photo by Francis Miller/Time Life Pictures/Getty Images

For 48 years, the Voting Rights Act has been one of the most prominent pieces of Civil Rights legislation. Its aim: to ensure that people in areas with a history of racial discrimination receive fair treatment when they vote.

The Supreme Court will examine a constitutional challenge to the act in one of the most-watched cases this year. The case asks whether the Voting Rights Act of 1965 is still necessary and whether voters still risk disenfranchisement in certain parts of the country. The Court will hear arguments from Shelby County, Ala., which challenges the law, and from U.S. government attorneys and the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, on Feb. 27.

Our coverage this month will examine the questions this case raises.

Now we’d like your help.

Do you remember when the Voting Rights Act became law? How did that change affect your life and your community during the Civil Rights Movement? How did you see if affect others?

Call the PBS NewsHour Oral History Hotline at (703) 594-6PBS to share your story.

These are the directions you will hear when you call:

Please be as specific and concise as possible. The call will cut off after three minutes. We may use this audio recording on our web site or on the NewsHour, and we may call you back. You must give your first and last name and phone number. Ready with your story? Here’s the beep.

Listen to a sample voice mail here:

You can connect to the Hotline now by clicking the phone button below. It will ring the number you enter, and then ask you to press “1″ to connect to the NewsHour.

If you have a question about this project, contact NewsHour reporter-producer Katelyn Polantz at kpolantz@newshour.org or 703-998-2498.

If you weren’t born until after 1965 or if you don’t have a specific memory, we want to hear your opinion in the comments below.

To listen to the stories we’ve already received, go here.