Alabama DMV Closings Limiting Access To Photo ID, Affects Ballot Via Voter ID Laws
Alabama state officials’ decision to close 31 driver’s license offices in what is known as the “Black Belt” has raised the eyebrows of many, with some calling it an attempt to suppress the African-American vote through limiting access to state IDs and enforcing the state’s voter ID laws.
State officials are calling the decision to close the DMVs a cost-cutting measure – not a Republican plot to suppress the Black vote in areas where African-Americans have strongly supported President Barack Obama.
According to AI.com, Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley has “strongly pushed back” against the claims that “a decision to close 31 driver’s licenses offices across the state is aimed at making it more difficult for black Alabamians to vote.”
Congresswoman Terri Sewell (D-Birmingham) joined Roland Martin Tuesday on NewsOne Now to discuss the state’s move to close driver’s license offices and the implications this form of voter suppression may have on future elections.
NewsOne Now Exclusive: Ava DuVernay On The Rebirth Of The African-American Film Festival Releasing Movement
Roland Martin caught up with director Ava DuVernay during the Color Of Change’s 10th Anniversary Gala. During their chat, DuVernay discussed the relaunch of The African-American Film Festival Releasing Movement (AFFRM) as ARRAY.
Of AFFRM, DuVernay said the organization felt it important to distribute the work of Black filmmakers, women of color, as well as people of color in general, “or else they never get the opportunity to do more.”
ARRAY is the rebirth/rebrand of AFFRM. Their work continues as their “resource collective,” which is comprised of arts advocacy organizations, maverick volunteers, and rebel member donors who look to distribute independent films worldwide.
DuVernay told Martin, “People have to realize that we’re experiencing a cinema segregation. There are films that are being withheld from you. There are places that cannot go cinematically because studios and movie theaters decide what you see and what you don’t see.”
“So if you want to take advantage of the full array of work that artists of color are doing, you have to go look for it and reach for it, and so ARRAY now provides a way for you to connect with filmmakers of color and women filmmakers that are not in your local movie theater through community outreach and in untraditional spaces, you can see these films,” said DuVernay.
The director of Selma and I Will Follow said, “If you believe in varied voices and you believe that there should be an ARRAY of voices at the table, not just White filmmakers — young White men are not the only ones who have stories to tell — if you believe in that, whether you are a young White man or not — you don’t have to be Black to love Black films, but if you are Black and you love us and you love our images, go to ARRAYNow.com” and join the movement.
Be on the lookout for a NewsOne Now ARRAY promo code to help support ARRAY’s efforts to bring African-American cinema to the forefront.
All that and more in this edition of the NewsOne Now Audio Podcast