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Make Sure To Vote

By Charles Payne, CEO & Principal Analyst

My grandmother was fiercely independent and hard-working.  She was born and raised in Alabama.  She had no formal education but learned to read and loved newspapers and listening to news on radio.  

She and my grandfather had a nice size farm in Uniontown where they raised a dozen children.  It was back-breaking working with a couple of mules, a horse and hand plows as their only tools.  They had some chickens, pigs, hogs, and cows as well as crops like okra.

My grandfather built a store that was really a shack, but it was his, and he wanted it to be a success.  The Klan burned it down.  But my grandparents never stopped.  That doesn't mean they weren't afraid.  My grandmother slept with her arms crossed, never using pillows so she could listen for night riders.

One year, she decided she wanted to exercise her right to vote.  Blacks in the town had been warned not to show up or they would be physically harmed.  Nobody thought it was an idle threat because it had happened before.  Still, my grandmother wanted to vote.

She was tough.  They had an old wood-burning stove, and I would watch her take red-hot pieces of wood embers with her bare hands and shift them around.  

On Election Day, she went to vote along with a few others and were greeted with anger.  My grandmother and others were placed inside a small room and told to wait.  As the clock ticked, they wondered if they made a mistake and began to think they were going to be taken somewhere and beaten up, or worse.

After some time, the door finally opened and in walked Martin Luther King Jr.  His first words were “everything is going to be alright.”  We all have stories of those that did brave acts for a better future for their family.  In the process, they made it a better future for all Americans.

This is why we owe it to them to exercise our right to vote and to make sure we are making it a better future for our families and our country.    

Its fine if we have different opinions on what makes the country better, today is the day to civilly and proudly act on those opinions. 

God Bless America



Charles Payne
Wall Street Strategies


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