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Private collection of Marvin Rich.

Birth of a Voter

This four page mailer/flyer from CORE, also from 1964, is by Bob Adelman, and features his photographs and narrative. The dramatic story describes Reverend Joseph Carter's long efforts to register to vote in Louisiana. According to Carter: "a man is not a first class citizen, a number one citizen, unless he is a voter." The first time he attempted to register he was jailed, and his wife feared a worse fate in the future. He agreed to try again, but "the effort, he felt, should be quite matter of fact as if it were not out of the ordinary." As he was leaving the courtroom after finally being allowed to register to vote, a photographer snapped his photograph. "'Take his picture," shouted a member of the white mob, "it may be the last one he takes.'"

The article was published before the Voting Rights Act of 1965, and ends with the report that:

Rev. Carter and 12 other Negroes have registered and many others are only awaiting the settlement of a government suit against discriminatory registration procedures in the Parish. On Dec. 7 he voted for the first time in his life, even though he has heard rumors that he is going to be "burned out of the parish." He says simply:" I thanked the Lord that he let me live long enough to vote."