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Community Conversations
with Alex & Dydine

Episode 3

Do you feel like we understand the importance of voting?

Special guest Joanne Bland. Inclusion, voting and meaningful action to move forward in society.

The conversation took place on Instagram live
October 11, 2021

Joanne Bland biography

Joanne Bland (born July 29, 1952 in Selma, Alabama) is the co-founder and former director of the National Voting Rights Museum in Selma, Alabama. Bland was a highly active participant in the Civil Rights Movement from her earliest days, and was the youngest person to have been jailed during any civil rights demonstration during that period. Bland grew up in segregated Selma, Alabama, where she was not allowed to enter certain stores and was only allowed to go in the library and movie theater on days labeled "colored." As a result of growing up in segregation Bland lost her mother, who died in a "white" hospital waiting for a transfusion of "black blood". Her grandmother encouraged Bland and her sister to march and become a freedom fighter to fight for their freedom, even though her father disapproved due to his fear for their lives. It did not stop Bland who became active in the movement when she was eight years old. When she was eight years old, she attended a meeting with the Dallas County Voters League with her grandmother.

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