By Stephen Henderson for BridgeDetroit

My entire life, I’ve understood this nation’s painful and difficult, racist history of denying the vote to black people. First, because we were property and not humans. Then, because, despite a devastating war and a constitutional amendment, southern states invented new barriers to throw in our way and block us from the ballot.

And just one generation before me, my father, born in Mississippi, returned home from his service in the Korean War only to be told he could not vote, because he was black.

But until Tuesday, I’ve never feared that my own vote may be discounted. I’ve never worried that when I pull the lever or put the paper ballot in the machine, that my vote might be disqualified for bogus reasons, or certainly not because I was Black. I have voted mostly in neighborhoods where I’ve lived nearly my whole life. I never took it for granted, given the history. But I never thought my own vote was in doubt.

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