The video projections feature ten freedom fighters. Robert Purvis recounted his role in fighting a state constitutional amendment that stripped free blacks of the right to vote.
In 1838, Purvis drafted the “Appeal of Forty Thousand Citizens Threatened with Disfranchisement”:
Fellow Citizens:—We appeal to you from the decision of the “Reform Convention,” which has stripped us of a right peaceably enjoyed during forty-seven years under the Constitution of this commonwealth. We honor Pennsylvania and her noble institutions too much to part with our birthright, as her free citizens, without a struggle. To all her citizens the right of suffrage is valuable in proportion as she is free; but surely there are none who can so ill afford to spare it as ourselves.
Fast forward to today, the ACLU of Pennsylvania is fighting to overturn the voter ID law that Gov. Tom Corbett signed in March. The voting change makes it harder for hundreds of thousands of citizens to exercise a fundamental right of our democracy.
The struggle continues.