My grandmother, Carol Cruse was born in Chicago, Illinois. As a girl, she wasn’t encouraged to vote by her parents. This was because they never voted themselves. She got the courage to vote on her own.
When she was growing up, you had to be twenty-one to vote, until the year 1971. She was already about twenty-four around this time. Around the time she was of age to vote, Martin Luther King Jr. and Robert Kennedy were assassinated. She never voted in Chicago. My oldest auntie, great-grandmother, and grandmother moved to Atlanta, Georgia in the late 1960’s to early 1970’s.
My grandmother Carol became a registered voter in the early 1970’s. The first presidential election she voted in was the Richard Nixon election in 1972. She voted for George McGovern, the Democrat in the election. Even though Richard Nixon won the election, she was not discouraged from voting. Even though she didn’t contribute in any civic activities, she always has encouraged my parents, uncles, aunties, cousins, siblings, and I to vote when we are of age. She voted in many smaller elections and presidential elections. Her most memorable election was for President Barack Obama in the 2008 election. This is because he made history by becoming the first African-American to become President of the United States. She encouraged herself to vote even when no one in her life voted or cared to get her to vote. And instead of doing what others did to her, she encouraged all of her children and their children to vote. She moved to a new state and changed her life for the better and got politically involved in society. Without her, I wouldn’t care as much as I do today about voting.