How many jellybeans are in this jar? Vote – your life depends on it!

“A vote is the best way of getting the kind of country and the kind of world you want.”– HARRY S. TRUMAN

HOUSTON — Racially-motivated killings appear to be at an all-time high (at least for this generation), police brutality is at an all-time high (or at least we can PROVE it more now thanks to cellphone video and social media) and mistrust/distrust of our elected and appointed leaders is at an all-time high as civil unrest and unlawfulness continues to spread across America.

“This is some f*** up sh**,” said African American News&Issues publisher Roy Douglas Malonson. “What’s happening in America is like what Johnny ‘Guitar’ Watson’s song called ‘A Real Mother for Ya!'”

Do you want it to end, but feel there’s not much you can do about it? Well, there is one thing — VOTE as if your LIFE depended on it — and, frankly, it does!

This time, however, African Americans don’t have to count jellybeans in a jar before exercising their rights.

Not sure what we are talking about? Do you know your history?

It’s one thing to watch cinematic greats like “Selma,” and replay snippets of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech twice a year (on his birthday and the anniversary of the March on Washington), but it’s more important to truly learn about your past lest you are doomed to repeat it.

From the 1890s to the 1960s, many state governments in the Southern United States administered literacy tests to prospective voters, purportedly to test their literacy in order to vote. The “jellybeans test” was a technique used during the Jim Crow era, in which the registrar would ask Black voters to guess the number of jellybeans in a jar. If Blacks guessed incorrectly – of course ANYBODY would — then they were denied the right to vote. And while Blacks went through hell, whites were given exemptions. Whites could bypass the literacy test if they could meet alternate requirements that typically excluded blacks, such as a grandfather clause, or a finding of “good moral character.” The character witness was usually another white person, more than likely a post-Civil War Southerner who was against any non-whites’ voting privileges.

These so-called literacy tests, along with poll taxes, residency and property restrictions, were commonly used to disenfranchise African Americans and deny suffrage. And when that didn’t work, there was violence, intimidation and death.

Still, Blacks continued to fearlessly fight for their rights and thanks to organized protests, an unwillingness to give up and MEDIA, laws began to change.

One day in history many will never forget is “Bloody Sunday” in which young leaders like Hosea Williams and future U.S. Congressman John Lewis, who was 25 at the time, led nearly 600 protesters on a 54-mile stretch from Selma to the state capital until they collided with a line of state troopers and Ku Klux Klansmen while crossing the Edmund Pettus Bridge. The peaceful protesters were gruesomely attacked with billy clubs and sticks, and the event was televised for the world to see. The airing of the footage resulted in a national outcry and a new federal voting rights law was passed.

The Voting Rights Act of 1965, which became a landmark piece of federal legislation in the United States, was signed into law by President Lyndon B. Johnson on August 6, 1965.

Designed to enforce the voting rights guaranteed by the Fourteenth and Fifteenth Amendments to the United States Constitution, the Act secured the right to vote for racial minorities throughout the country, especially in the South. According to the U.S. Department of Justice, the Act is considered to be the most effective piece of federal civil rights legislation ever enacted in the country.

The late “Conscience of the Congress,” U.S. Rep. Lewis, who was severely beaten and had his skull fractured on “Bloody Sunday,” lead the successful effort in Congress to reauthorize the act. President George W. Bush signed a reauthorization of the Voting Rights Act in 2006 and President Bill Clinton also signed a law making it easier for people to register to vote.

But still today, many claim our current president, Donald Trump, is trying to bring back Jim Crow reminiscent practices in order to remain in office.

At Lewis’ funeral this summer, President Barack Obama took a swipe at Trump.

“We may no longer have to guess the number of jelly beans in a jar to be able to cast a ballot,” Obama said while delivering Lewis’ eulogy at Ebenezer Baptist Church, “but even as we sit here, there are those in power who are doing their darndest to discourage people from voting by closing polling locations and targeting minorities and students with restrictive ID laws and attacking our voting rights with surgical precision—even undermining the Postal Service in the run-up to an election that’s going to be dependent on mail-in ballots so people don’t get sick.”

The planned widespread use of mail-in voting necessitated by the current global COVID-19/ coronavirus pandemic is under scrutiny and “poll watching” is being ramped up in key areas. Poll watching is a long-standing practice in which observers monitor how ballots are cast, the testing of equipment and counting procedures — looking for irregularities. They also challenge the eligibility of individual voters.

Experts say in-person fraud is almost non-existent, but Trump’s campaign announced it will dispatch tens of thousands of election monitors to battleground states to ensure Trump won’t be “cheated” out of votes. And the Democrats say they will also be releasing their own watchers – to watch the other watchers. Apparently, all eyes are on November 3.

Many marched, many were beaten, and many died so you could have a voice. Who you choose is up to you, but we want you to VOTE and VOTE EARLY!

Latest Articles


Search our archive of past issues Receive our Latest Updates
* indicates required

October 16, 2023, HOUSTON, TX – Congressional Candidate Amanda Edwards has raised over $1 million in less than 4 months, a substantial sum that helps bolster the frontrunner status of the former At-Large Houston City Council Member in her bid for U.S. Congress. Edwards raised over $433,000 in Q3 of 2023. This strong Q3 report expands on a successful Q2 where Edwards announced just 11 days after declaring her candidacy that she had raised over $600,000. With over $829,000 in cash-on-hand at the end of the September 30th financial reporting period, Edwards proves again that she is the clear frontrunner in the race. “I am beyond grateful for the strong outpouring of support that will help me to win this race and serve the incredible people of the 18th Congressional District,” said Edwards. “We are at a critical juncture in our nation’s trajectory, and we need to send servant leaders to Congress who can deliver the results the community deserves. The strong support from our supporters will help us to cultivate an 18th Congressional District where everyone in it can thrive.” Edwards said. “Amanda understands the challenges that the hard-working folks of the 18th Congressional District face because she has never lost sight of who she is or where she comes from; she was born and raised right here in the 18th Congressional District of Houston,” said Kathryn McNiel, spokesperson for Edwards’ campaign. Edwards has been endorsed by Higher Heights PAC, Collective PAC, Krimson PAC, and the Brady PAC. She has also been supported by Beto O’Rourke, among many others. About Amanda: Amanda is a native Houstonian, attorney and former At-Large Houston City Council Member. Amanda is a graduate of Eisenhower High School in Aldine ISD. Edwards earned a B.A. from Emory University and a J.D. from Harvard Law School. Edwards practiced law at Vinson & Elkins LLP and Bracewell LLP before entering public service. Edwards is a life-long member of St. Monica Catholic Church in Acres Homes. For more information, please visit

As September 13th rolls around, we extend our warmest birthday wishes to the creative powerhouse, Tyler Perry, a man whose indomitable spirit and groundbreaking work have left an indelible mark on the world of entertainment. With his multifaceted talents as an actor, playwright, screenwriter, producer, and director, Tyler Perry has not only entertained but also inspired audiences worldwide, particularly within the African-American community, where his influence and role have been nothing short of powerful. Born in New Orleans, Louisiana, in 1969, Tyler Perry’s journey to stardom was a path riddled with adversity. Raised in a turbulent household, he found refuge in writing, using it as a therapeutic outlet. This period of introspection gave rise to one of his most iconic creations, Madea, a vivacious, no-nonsense grandmother who would later become a beloved figure in Perry’s works, offering a unique blend of humor and profound life lessons. Despite facing numerous challenges, including rejection and financial struggles, Perry’s determination and unwavering belief in his abilities propelled him forward. In 1992, he staged his first play, “I Know I’ve Been Changed,” which, although met with limited success, was a pivotal moment in his career. Unfazed by initial setbacks, Perry continued to hone his craft, and by 1998, he had successfully produced a string of stage plays that showcased his storytelling prowess.

Calling all teenage student-athletes! If you have dreams of playing college soccer and wish to represent an HBCU, the HBCU ID Camp is your golden opportunity. From 8 am to 5 pm on November 11-12, Houston Sports Park will transform into a hub for aspiring male and female soccer players. Coaches from HBCUs across the nation will be present to evaluate, scout, and offer valuable feedback. Moreover, they might even spot the next soccer prodigy to join their collegiate soccer programs. This camp is not just about honing your soccer skills but also a chance to connect with the HBCU soccer community. You’ll learn the ins and outs of what it takes to excel on the field and in the classroom, which is crucial for a college athlete. The HBCU ID Camp is an excellent platform to network with coaches, learn from experienced athletes, and take the first steps toward your college soccer journey. To secure your spot at this incredible event, don’t forget to register [here](insert registration link). Space is limited to 120 participants, so make sure to reserve your place before it’s too late. It’s time to turn your dreams of playing college soccer into a reality.

Scroll to Top