Houston Councilwoman's 98-year-old grandmother recalls time she was not allowed to vote

Jessica Willey Image
Friday, October 16, 2020
98-year-old woman recalls first time she voted
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It's not every day you hear history from someone who lived through it!

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- Houston Councilwoman Letitia Plummer's grandmother said she does not take her right to vote for granted because she recalls a time when, as a Black woman, she was turned away from the polls.

Plummer shared the video of her grandmother, Letitia Washington Plummer, from NRG Park on Thursday. The 98-year-old had just dropped off her mail-in ballot and the councilwoman was waiting in line to drive-thru vote.

"I don't have the slightest idea of the first time that I voted. I do have an idea of the first time I tried to vote and there was some discrepancy because I was Black American. And at the time I was growing up, Black Americans didn't have the opportunity," the elder Plummer said.

She said the first time she tried to vote she went with her husband, Matthew Plummer, Sr, who was a Civil Rights promoter, in Alabama.

"This would've been in the 40s. Probably 1945," she said.

In an interview with ABC13, Plummer said that after being turned away, they then went to a lawyer's office and were on the list of the first people to file a voting rights lawsuit in the state of Alabama.

"Regardless of the situation, voting is your opportunity," she said.

It would be another 20 years before the Voting Rights Act of 1965 became federal law, securing the right to vote for Black Americans.

"I think our young people need to realize how fortunate we are to have this opportunity," Councilwoman Plummer said.

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