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Alberta Currie

Alberta Currie

Meet Alberta Currie, the lead plaintiff in SCSJ’s litigation challenging North Carolina’s strict Voter ID requirement.

Voting is a matter of pride for Alberta Currie. Since the age of 21 in 1956, she consistently has voted in every election. It was her grandmother who instilled in her the importance of never missing a voting day. But due to a voter ID provision in the state’s new Monster Voter Suppression Law, she may not be able to cast a ballot on Election Day in the coming years.

Currie, a 78-year-old native of Robeson County who now lives in Hope Mills, does not have a photo ID and cannot obtain one in North Carolina without a birth certificate. She doesn’t have a birth certificate because she was born at home to a midwife during the Jim Crow days of the segregated South.

On August 13, 2013, the Southern Coalition for Social Justice filed a lawsuit in Orange County Superior Court – with Currie as the lead plaintiff – challenging the new voter ID requirement of the law. The suit was filed on behalf of the N.C. A. Philip Randolph Institute, the League of Women Voters of North Carolina and several individual voters, including Alberta Currie.

After the case was combined with another case, North Carolina NAACP v. McCrory, arguments were made in federal court.  On July 29, 2016, the Fourth Circuit of the U.S. Court of Appeals found that the law was not only unconstitutional but targeted African-American voters “with almost surgical precision.” As a result of that ruling, the 2016 general election in North Carolina proceeded with two weeks of early voting, same-day voter registration, and no requirement for photo ID.

The Southern Coalition for Social Justice supports the rights of all voters – particularly those like  Alberta Currie and an estimated 318,000 other North Carolinians – who may completely lose the ability to vote due to changes in voting laws. SCSJ is currently engaged in voting rights litigation in Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, and the District of Columbia. Litigating the current onslaught of repressive voting laws requires a team of experts, extensive travel, filing fees, and numerous other expenses in addition to regular operating costs. Your donation continues the fight for the voting rights of people like Alberta Currie. Please consider making a recurring donation to help sustain our voting rights litigation year-roundClick here to support SCSJ’s work!

Post by SCSJ Deputy Director Shoshannah Sayers

Documentary underway on the Wilmington Massacre of 1898

A new film, Wilmington on Fire, will give a historical and present day look at the massacre of 1898 from the perspective of the African-American victims. The film features interviews from historians, researchers, activists, authors and direct descendants of the victims of the massacre.

The Wilmington Massacre of 1898, often cited as a riot, was an actual bloody attack on the African-American community by a heavily armed white mob on November 10, 1898 in the port city of Wilmington, North Carolina. It is considered one of the only successful examples of a violent overthrow of an existing government and left countless numbers of African-Americans dead and exiled from the city. This event was the spring board for the White Supremacy movement and Jim Crow segregation throughout the state of North Carolina and the American South.

WOF Kickstarter poster
“With the importance of this story needing to be told, we felt there was no better time than now to capitalize on the popularity of crowd funding by launching a Kickstarter campaign to fund the completion of the project. No one has ever done a documentary on this subject the way that we have done it. People are excited about this film and can’t wait to see it but that’s why we need everyone to become a backer so we can complete the film and bring it to life.” – said Christopher Everett, Director and Producer of Wilmington on Fire.

The campaign started on December 2, 2013 and will run for 30 days. Speller Street Films hopes to raise $16,000. The money will be used to complete editing, graphics, color grading, sound mixing and archival material fees. Kickstarter is an all or nothing deal so if they don’t reach $16k in 30 days, they will get no funding at all. All donations must be made by January 1, 2014.

DONATE to the Kickstarter Campaign

Speller Street Films is a film production company that specializes in music videos, commercials, promotional ad campaigns, narratives and documentaries.

For questions or interview requests please contact Christopher Everett, Director and Producer of “Wilmington on Fire” at 910-280-3914 or at wilmingtononfire@gmail.com