Use It or Lose It

Article excerpt

This Issue contains your Image Award ballot listing writers, actors, producers, directors, musicians and others in the arts-and-entertainment world vying for the NAACP's highest honor. Every subscriber to The Crisis magazine has the opportunity to influence the final selection, unlike other award shows where a small panel of judges or members of an exclusive elite make the determinations. Use your ballot and be a part of this important process.

Some 43 years ago, the Hollywood Chapter of the NAACP, under the inspirational leadership of Willis Edwards, conceived and produced the first NAACP Image Awards. The event's purpose was to recognize and honor African American artists who excelled in film and other media and who represented the best of us in both talent and dignity.

A few years later, the National NAACP assumed production of the Image Awards, making it a national program and broadening the scope of the show. It continued to honor the highest achievements of African Americans in the multimedia world of film, music, television and literature. You, The Crisis magazine subscribers and NAACP members, still select the winners by marking the enclosed ballot and returning it in a timely fashion.

As significant as your votes for the Image Awards winners are, they really pale in comparison to your vote to elect the local, state and national officials who hold your citizenship, and proof of your life, in their hands. Elected officials control every facet of our lives from birth to death: you must have a birth certificate to prove you were born, and a death certificate is eventually required to prove you are no longer with us.

It was just 48 years ago in 1964 that the Voting Rights legislation was signed into law to restore our right to vote. Freed slaves had gained voting rights after Emancipation but they were taken away by vicious assaults and death threats, as well as by ridiculous voter qualification rules. Could you tell a voter registrar just how many bubbles are in a bar of soap? …