Will Alabama Expunge White Supremacist Language that Remains in its Constitution?

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tags: Jim Crow, Alabama, White Supremacy

When Alabama’s state constitution was written in 1901 by 155 white men, their goal was to “establish white supremacy in this state.” The document has been hotly debated ever since. Earlier this month, the state legislature took an important step: voting unanimously to delete the racist language that remains in the document. Special Correspondent Megan Thompson reports.

  • Hari Sreenivasan:

    Most people might not think often about their state constitution, but Alabama's governing document has been hotly debated since it was written in 1901.

    Earlier this month, the Alabama Senate passed some important changes to the constitution that will be on the ballot for voters this fall.

    NewsHour Weekend Special Correspondent Megan Thompson reports from Montgomery for our series, "Alabama Reckoning," exploring the state efforts to address the racism of its past.

  • Megan Thompson:

    Felt Thompson and Evan Milligan share two passions: music and politics.

  • Felt Thompson:

    We're trying to change the playing field here through music.

  • Megan Thompson:

    They put out an album in February, through an artists collective called "Shake the Field." Using art to encourage more civic engagement, their new songs are all about political issues.

  • Felt Thompson:

    A song about grief, a song about social justice work

  • Evan Milligan:

    Alabama's prisons, our state constitution.

  • Music lyrics:

    Back in 1901 They got together / To make our homeland the greatest / Sat down wrote a constitution….

  • Megan Thompson:

    You might be wondering, why would anyone write a song about a state constitution?

  • Felt Thompson:

    That document is despicable and disgusting.

  • Evan Milligan:

    Really, really, really, really, really awful.

  • Megan Thompson:

    How so?

  • Felt Thompson:

    In the song, I say, written with the devil's pen. Because it was specifically written to keep people of my hue in a certain place.

Read entire article at PBS News Hour