This summer was quite an experience. As of this second the NAACP has had a part in registering 133 new voters and counting. Though I am proud of this number because I know that it was garnered through hard work and dedication, I know that it is just a stepping stone in what is to come. Still, we have come a long way. When we first began our journey toward this powerful voter registration initiative, the end result seemed so far away. As a new organizer, I did not know quite where to start. God certainly sent me some help in the form of two women in the local NAACP, who accompanied me several times a week as we went out and canvassed within the community.
With our Moral Freedom Summer fact sheets in hand, we were often embraced by the community with open arms. I remember gaining hope after hearing the well wishes from some of the residents, “You are doing a good thing”, “Keep up the good work”. Just hearing these words solidified even more the fact that I was doing moral work. I knew that many of the people I talked to this summer were some of the same ones being negatively affected by the legislation that is outlined on the fact sheets. I knew that I must work hard this summer, even for the residents who would refuse to register to vote because of a religious affiliation or outright apathy.
And as I continued to do my part, I watched as great things began to happen. I was able to get several organizations to commit to the 20/50 rule, at least to try to register fifty new people. I was able to see more volunteers come out to support Moral Freedom Summer, allowing us to register twenty voters in one single night, which is amazing!
I was able to convince a 71 year old Caucasian man who had never registered to vote to register simply by saying, “People fought and died for our right to vote”. Likewise, I was able to encourage several young, first time registries to come out in vote in November. And I believe they will, I believe that if we continue to do our part wholeheartedly everything will work out.
Rebekah Barber, Moral Freedom Summer Organizer
August 13, 2014