The Editorially Independent Voice of The University of Akron

The Buchtelite

The Editorially Independent Voice of The University of Akron

The Buchtelite

The Editorially Independent Voice of The University of Akron

The Buchtelite

Graphic courtesy of Liv Ream; movie flyer from IMDB
In defense of Skinamarink
By Liv Ream, Arts and Entertainment Editor • October 1, 2023
Alternative Spring Break 2023 volunteers in Washington, D.C. Courtesy of Natalie Mowad.
Applications open for Akron’s 2024 Alternative Spring Break
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The Northern Cheyenne tribe and community walking the ancient Portage Path from Portage Path CLC to the John Brown Home during a previous years First Peoples Day event. Photo courtesy of Portage Path Collaborative.
UA Holds events in celebration of North American First People’s Day   
By Shananne Lewis, Online Editor • September 28, 2023
White swan on water during daytime photo - Free Uk Image on Unsplash
The Swan's Rapture: a poem
By Emily Price, editor in chief • September 27, 2023
Desperately Seeking an Amazon Fighter, sculpture by Kimberly Chapman
"Easy Prey" art exhibit on display at Myers School of Art
By Taylor Lorence, Reporter, Secretary • September 21, 2023
“On the left, there’s me at work! I received the New Student Orientation “Gold Standard” award alongside 
and at the same time as my friend Gillian.”
Courtesy of Connor VanMaele
Fall 2023 Print Edition: Going the Distance
By Connor VanMaele, Correspondent • September 19, 2023
L to R: Steve Horner, Heather Barhorst, Haley Kuczynski, Shawna Blankenship, Brynley Harris, Jessie Redwine at the Pop-Up Pantry. Image Courtesy of ZipAssist.
ZipAssist Holds Community Resource Fair Tuesday, September 19 from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. in the SU 2nd Floor
By Shananne Lewis, Correspondent • September 18, 2023
Film critic Liv Ream and friend pose for photo (Image via Liv Ream)
My Barbie experience
By Liv Ream, Film Critic • September 17, 2023

Voting Rights Act affects people years later

Written by: Emily Barry

The Voting Rights Act, signed into law by Lyndon B. Johnson on Aug. 6, 1965, states that “No voting qualification or prerequisite to voting, or standard, practice, or procedure shall be imposed or applied by any State or political subdivision to deny or abridge the right of any citizen of the United States to vote on account of race or color.”

Though the Fifteenth Amendment granted African-American men the right to vote in 1870, deprivation of the right was common, due to poll taxes and literacy tests.

The Voting Rights Act still impacts the lives of African-American people 47 years later.

“I will be voting in both the local and national elections this year, and it’s my first time voting, so I’m very excited,” said Josh Hale, an African-American student at The University of Akron.

Hale described his family as “quite political” and said that the Voting Rights Act holds a special meaning to them.

“My dad has been hounding me for the past month or two, making sure that I registered to vote, and we text during every debate,” Hale said. “He mentions the Voting Rights Act before every election and makes sure that I understand that the African-American people, as a race, fought to gain these rights to vote.”

UA sophomore Troy Roebuck, who also voted in the presidential election for the first time, agreed with Hale.

“It is a pleasure and an obligation to vote, in my opinion,” Roebuck said. “So many people have died and sacrificed for us to have the rights we do.”

Charlie Gonzalez, chairman of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, released a statement in commemoration of the Voting Rights Act.

“The Voting Rights Act restored justice, equality, and fairness to our country’s most sacred right: the right to vote,” the statement said. “At a time when we have witnessed unprecedented attacks on the right to vote, now more than ever is a time to not only celebrate the anniversary of this historic legislation, but we must also fight to maintain its legacy and integrity.”

The act was introduced to the Senate on March 18, 1965 by Senator Mike Mansfield of Montana and Senator Everett Dirksen of Illinois. It held a special meaning in 2012 as America’s first mixed-race president, Barack Obama, campaigned for a second term.

“I felt, and still feel, a sense of pride that Obama is our president, due to our country’s racial history,” Roebuck said.

Hale agreed with Roebuck.

“I think it’s a wonderful thing that Barack Obama is our first biracial president. It’s amazing how our country can come from such a dark past to now support our African-American president, other mixed-raced candidates, and also women who work in politics,” Hale said.

Though proud of their heritage, African-American students at The University of Akron agree that voting is not simply a competition between races.

Stephanie Tremble, a senior at UA, said the election is not about race.

“For me, I don’t see color,” she said. “It’s more about personal beliefs and ideas that deal with current issues. I try to stay informed on both sides.”

Hale and Roebuck agreed with Tremble.

“I will not base my votes on a candidate just because he or she is black,” Hale said. “As the upcoming generation, my peers and I can make a great impact and express our voice by voting. I’ve noticed that college students take interest in politics, regardless of races, and I really think that social media helps to increase that interest and spark discussion.”

“When it comes down to it, race really is not a factor for me,” Roebuck said. “Instead, it’s about the policies and issues each candidate focuses on. As
a college student, I take into consideration tuition, job availability and economic stability.”

After 47 years, the Voting Rights Act still holds great weight in elections throughout the U.S. and has given a wider range of citizens the opportunity to share their voices.

“Though I am not extremely political, I will definitely continue to exercise my right to vote, and pass that idea onto my own children and family,” Hale said. “Everyone should own the privilege to voice their opinions, regardless of race, color and gender.”

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