The price tag of African American artists work is growing dramatically. Thom Pegg owns the Tyler Fine Arts gallery at Skinker and Forest Park. For the past five years, Thom has been busy collecting African American art. There are roughly three-dozen works in his collection. It includes three sculptures by St. Louisan Houston Chandler.
Donny Hathaway was born October 1, 1946.
He was born in Chicago, but grew up in St. Louis and began singing gospel at age three.
On August 6, 1965 the American Voting Rights Act of 1965 was signed into law by President Lyndon B. Johnson.
Pushed for change through the civil rights movement in the 1950s and ’60s were century old practices aimed at preventing Blacks from exercising their legal right to vote. This law provided for automatic suspension of literacy tests and other voter qualification devices because they were applied in a discriminatory way; gave federal voting examiners the authority to register voters in areas not meeting certain voter participation requirements; authorized the U. S. attorney general to investigate the validity of state poll taxes; required federal review to prevent racial discrimination by new state voting laws; and made interference with voting rights conferred by the law a criminal offense.
Addition to this law was the 24th Amendment to the U. S. Constitution, ratified in 1964, prohibiting poll taxes as a qualification for voting in federal elections. In 1970 the Voting Rights Act was extended and the voting age was lowered to 18. The Supreme Court later upheld the vote for 18-year-olds in federal elections, but ruled that Congress had acted unconstitutionally in lowering the voting age to 18 in state and local elections. This problem was solved by the 26th Amendment, ratified in 1971, providing that citizens 18 years of age or older could not be denied the franchise “on account of age.”
The Voting Rights Act has been amended twice, in 1975 and 1982. Among the most important provisions of the later amendments were the addition of bilingual requirements in some counties; a permanent nationwide ban on the use of literacy tests as a voting requirement; and a law allowing voters nationwide who are illiterate, blind, or disabled to be assisted in the voting booth by a person of their own choice. These amendments also made it easier for minorities to use the courts to attack discriminatory election methods.
Other laws have been passed that protect the franchise of certain groups; for example, U. S. citizens residing abroad were granted the right to vote in federal elections by absentee ballot in 1975, and voting accessibility for the elderly was guaranteed in 1984.
See HistoricalDocuments.com for more on the Voting Rights Act.
Barack Obama was born August 4, 1961
From Ohau, Hawaii, he is the son of economist Barack Obama, Sr. of Kenya and S. Ann Dunham of Kansas. Both his parents were students at the East-West Center at the University of Hawaii at Manoa. At the age of two, his parents divorced and Obama’s mother re-married and moved the family moved to Indonesia for a couple of years. But Obama returned to Hawaii to be raised by his grandmother in downtown Honolulu. He was enrolled in the fifth grade at Punahou School, and got his first job at Baskin-Robbins in town. After graduating from Punahou School with honors, Obama went on to study at Columbia University in New York City majoring in political science.
He then moved to Chicago, Illinois and took up community organizing. He left briefly to study law at Harvard University where he became the first African-American editor of the Harvard Law Review. Obama returned to his adopted hometown of Chicago in 1992 and to organized an aggressive election effort for the Bill Clinton presidential campaign. His talents gained him a seat at a local civil rights law firm and became a lecturer of constitutional law at the University of Chicago. Obama still serves as a professor there. In 1995 he published his memoir, “Dreams from My Father.” One year later Obama was elected to the Illinois State Senate from the south side of Chicago. He served as chairman of the Public Health and Welfare Committee.
Obama is married and has two children. Regarded as a staunch liberal during his tenure in the legislature, he helped to author a state earned income tax credit providing benefits to the poor. He also pursued laws that extended health coverage to Illinois residents who could not afford insurance. Speaking up for leading gay and lesbian advocacy groups, he successfully passed bills to increase funding for AIDS prevention and care programs.
In February 2007 he announced his candidacy for President of the United States of America. On June 3, 2008 with all states counted, Obama passed the 2118 delegate mark and became the presumptive Democratic nominee. Obama is the first African American to be the presumptive nominee of a major political party.