National: Where black voters stand 50 years after the Voting Rights Act was passed | The Washington Post
African Americans have come a long way politically over the past half-century, but disparities remain. In the five decades since the passage of the Voting Rights Act, blacks have made significant strides in registering and turning out to vote, according to a new study. Yet, the policies enacted tend to better represent the interests of white Americans and blacks continue to be underrepresented in elected office. “We’ve gone a long way, but we have a long way to go,” says Zoltan Hajnal, a professor of political science at the University of California, San Diego. Hojnal and three other political science professors from across the country coauthored the study, published Tuesday, by the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies, a non-partisan, non-profit think tank dedicated to expanding opportunity for people of color. The report commemorates the 50th anniversary—this Saturday—of the “Bloody Sunday” march, in which Alabama state troopers and deputies brutally attacked a group of people marching from Selma to Montgomery for voting rights. Before the year was out, Congress would pass, and President Lyndon Baines Johnson would sign, the Voting Rights Act. Since then, blacks have made significant strides in areas where they were once severely disadvantaged.