Opinion, White Hall election is chance to use your right to vote

Published 6:30 pm Thursday, December 12, 2013

White Hall residents have a chance to participate in the moss grassroots form of government there is Tuesday.

Residents will go to the poll in White Hall this Tuesday to vote between two candidates to fill a vacant council seat.

The right to vote was a central issue of the Civil Rights movement for which Lowndes County played a significant role.

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A council member is elected directly by the citizens to represent their interest at town hall.

And after all, a celebration of Life Get-Together was held for Civil Rights icon Robert “Bob” Mants Jr., 68, of White Hall at the Jackson-Steele Community Center in White Hall in December of 2011.

At the age of 16, he was the youngest member on the Committee on Appeal for Human Rights (The Atlanta Student Movement).

In the 11th grade, he volunteered at the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee (SNCC). He also attended Morehouse College.

In 1964 Mants was working for the SNCC in Americus, Ga. He met his wife, Joann, while working with the SNCC Southwest Georgia Project and went to work in Lowndes County in 1965.

He was instrumental in planning the Selma to Montgomery March in March of 1965 and was in the front ranks on “Bloody Sunday” as marchers crossed the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma.

Two months after Bloody Sunday, Mants worked with an organization in Lowndes County, which was 81 percent black, had less than 30 black registered voters and had no black elected officials.

The result was the Lowndes County Freedom Organization, whose symbol, a black panther, became a national symbol of resistance to segregation and racial oppression.

Mants continued to work in Lowndes County until his death. He served as a member of the Lowndes County Commission for many years and was chairman of the non-profit Lowndes County Friends of the Historic Trail.

All of this is to say that there should be no shortage of voters in White Hall this Tuesday for the council seat election. No election when we have the chance to use our hard fought fight to vote should be taken lightly.