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'Count Them One By One': The Struggle For Black Voting Rights09:00
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Gordon A. Martin is a retired Massachusetts trial judge who grew up in Boston and came of age during a time of change and hope.

As a young lawyer he went to work for Robert F. Kennedy's Justice Department, and was soon on the front lines of the fight for black voting rights in Mississippi.

He'd read about the lynchings in the Boston papers and he knew that in Forest County, Mississippi, there were 7500 hundred blacks, only 12 of whom were registered to vote. And the country registrar was doing all he could to keep it that way.

"If you were white and you breathed, then you'd be registered to vote," Martin said. "If you were black, regardless of your abilities and talents and education, you were going to be turned away."

In his new book, "Count Them One By One: Black Mississippians Fighting for the Right to Vote," Judge Martin wrote about a seminal court case that paved the way for the Voting Rights Act.

Guest:

  • Gordon A. Martin , retired judge; author, "Count Them One By One: Black Mississippians Fighting for the Right to Vote"

This segment aired on June 6, 2011.

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