Posted on May 6, 2009

The Drive to Get Black Women to Vote, May 4, 2009

A new bus advert featuring American civil rights figurehead Rosa Parks will be launched today to encourage black women to vote in the upcoming local and European elections.

Women’s rights group the Fawcett Society, which commissioned the adverts, has conducted researching finding ethnic-minority women–particularly black women–are less likely to be registered to vote than white women and ethnic-minority men.

They are also less engaged in mainstream politics: there are only two black women MPs, while there has never been an Asian woman MP.

Today, five black women will be riding a London bus to launch the campaign and promote ‘Your Voice’, Fawcett’s new guide to democracy for ethnic-minority women ahead of local and European elections on 4 June.

On 1 December 1955, Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat to a white man on a racially segregated bus in Alabama, triggering the civil rights movement. She was promptly arrested for her decision.

Joella Hazel, outreach officer at the Fawcett Society said: “Rosa Parks took a huge risk on that bus. She sat down so that we could stand up, so that black women around the world could have the right to vote.

“Yet today in the UK, black women are amongst the least likely to be registered to vote, meaning our voices are not being heard by politicians. I’m taking this bus with Rosa to show how a person’s actions can make a difference.”

The European elections, as well as elections for some English local authorities, will take place on Thursday, June 4th.

[Editor’s Note: Jared Taylor’s account of the Rosa Parks matter, “A Curious Madness” can be read here.]