Black Quotidian: Everyday History in African-American Newspapers

August 10, 1946

On August 10, 1946, the New York Amsterdam News ran an editorial on the murder of Maceo Snipes, a World War II veteran who was murdered for voting in Butler, Georgia. Titled the “Price of Voting,” the editorial described Snipes as “a new martyr in the cause of Democracy and freedom in America...Maceo Snipes lies cold in his grave because he knew that by means of the ballot is the surest way to destroy the artificial barriers that shut out large segments of America’s population from the full enjoyment of the life which is our heritage.” The editors used Snipes’ murder to urge more black New Yorkers to vote: “As Maceo Snipes sleeps in his grave, so also sleep too many here in New York and other states where the ballot is free and open. But our sleep is an unhealthy sleep, born of sluggishness, ignorance, and laziness. We neglect voting. We are ignorant of the political issues. Too few of us are willing to sacrifice a little time to fulfill that sacred right of citizenship Maceo Snipes dared to seize. Voters of America must wake up.”

For more on the case of Maceo Snipes, see Emory University’s “Georgia Civil Rights Cold Cases Project.”

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