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The Struggle for Voting Rights: From the Founding to the Present

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Abramson Family Founders Room

School of International Service, American University

4400 Massachusetts Ave NW

Washington, District of Columbia 20016

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As Americans head to the polls for midterm elections on Nov. 6, the stakes couldn’t be higher. The right to vote is regarded as one of the most sacrosanct of American liberties. But is there a right to vote? Join Distinguished Professor of History Allan J. Lichtman and Ibram X. Kendi, professor of history and international relations and director of the Antiracist Research and Policy Center, for a conversation about America’s vote in the context of discrimination from the time of the country’s founding, the role of racism historically and today, and the modern-day suppression of voting by otherwise eligible American citizens. Lichtman is the author of many acclaimed books on U.S. political history. His most recent book is “The Embattled Vote in America” (Harvard University Press, 2018). Kendi is a New York Times best-selling author and columnist for The Atlantic. His second book, “Stamped from the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America” (Nation, 2016), won the 2016 National Book Award for Nonfiction.

“Trace the issues rending American politics to their root, and more often than not you’ll find soil poisoned by racism.”
- Ibram X. Kendi, from “A House Still Divided,” The Atlantic, October 2018

“The great mistake of the founding fathers was not putting a right to vote in the Constitution along with all the other rights. . . we still don’t have a guarantee of the vote.”
- Allan J. Lichtman, MSNBC’s Morning Joe, Sept. 10, 2018

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Abramson Family Founders Room

School of International Service, American University

4400 Massachusetts Ave NW

Washington, District of Columbia 20016

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