Lending Your Voice: The Power of the Vote

Sharon Sayles Belton

Sharon Sayles Belton, former mayor of Minneapolis, grew up in the historic Rondo neighborhood of nearby St. Paul, Minn. Rondo, regarded as the center of the black community in the Twin Cities, was demolished when Interstate 94 was built through the community. As a college student, Sayles Belton became involved in the civil rights movement, traveling to register voters in the Deep South. Describing the experience as “frightening,” she witnessed violent objections to blacks exercising their right to vote.

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