Dr. Benjamin F. Chavis, Jr.
Dr. Benjamin F. Chavis, Jr.

The United States of America once again is at a pivotal and crucial political crossroads. The outcome of the November 8, 2016 national elections will determine the future of the nation and of the world.

This is a propitious moment not only for 47 million Black Americans, but also this is the time for all Americans to decide whether or not as a diverse nation will our democracy fully embrace the goals of freedom, justice, equality and empowerment for all people.

We have both a sacred obligation and a historic responsibility to ensure that we will have the largest Black American voter turnout in history. Why? Because the overall quality of life of our families and communities are at stake. Our energy, actions, and spirits must remain high and we have to fully engage the electoral process locally, regionally and nationally.

On behalf of the National Newspaper Publishers Association (NNPA), we salute the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) and the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation (CBCF) for emphasizing the importance this strategic national moment in time and the necessity to revive the freedom movement for civil rights, in particular voting rights, economic equality and empowerment.

In 2008, 16,133,000 Black Americans voted in the national election that gave victory to President Barack H. Obama. In 2012, 17,813,000 Black Americans voted that contributed to the reelection of President Obama. In fact in 2012, for the time in American history, the percentage of Black American voter turnout: 66.2 % was higher than the White American voter turnout: 64.1 %.

In 2016, if we significantly increase Black American voter registration over the next six weeks, the potential of having 20,000,000 Black Americans to vote this year will be greatly enhanced. We have come too far and sacrificed too much to now stand still and to allow the forces of repression to take us backward.

We are so proud of millions of our Black American youth who are moving to the front lines of the struggle for freedom, justice, respect and economic equity. Black Lives Matter movement deserves our support. We should share the wisdom of the past with the activists of today. We cannot afford a generation gap. We cannot afford a cultural gap. We all have to work together to ensure progress and advancement of our mutual interests.

In conclusion, the NNPA is initiating and announcing 2016 Project Black Voter Turnout: 20 Million to the Polls. #BlackVotesMatter #BlackPressMatters @BlackPressUSA @NNPA_BlackPress

The 46th Annual Legislative Conference provides multiple opportunities for all of us to engage each other and to plan how we will effectively work together. The NNPA is pleased to be in partnership with the CBCF. From the NNPA’s front pages to the frontlines of the movement we will continue to march, organize, mobilize, publish, distribute, speak out and stand up for that which is right and just. Let’s get out the vote!

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WI Guest Author

This correspondent is a guest contributor to The Washington Informer.

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