Celebration of Voting Rights Act Begins with Movie Screening

Communications Director

Eric Vreeland
evreeland@knoxvilletn.gov
(865) 215-3480

400 Main St., Room 654A
Knoxville, TN 37902

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Celebration of Voting Rights Act Begins with Movie Screening

Posted: 12/31/2014
December 31, 2014 - The City of Knoxville is planning a series of events in 2015 to mark the 50th anniversary of the passage of the Voting Rights Act of 1965. This legislation outlawed discriminatory voting practices that had been responsible for the widespread disenfranchisement of African Americans in the United States.

The series will kick off with a special screening of the new film "Selma" at 3 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 10, at Regal Cinemas' Pinnacle Turkey Creek Theater, 9674 Parkside Drive. The acclaimed drama portrays the 1965 Selma to Montgomery voting rights marches led by Martin Luther King Jr., and the political negotiations behind the Voting Rights Act.

The Voting Rights Act prohibits states from imposing any "voting qualification or prerequisite" to "deny or abridge the right of any citizen of the United States to vote on account of race or color." Specifically, Congress intended the act to outlaw the practice of requiring otherwise qualified voters to pass literacy tests in order to register to vote, a principal means by which Southern states had prevented African-Americans from exercising the franchise. President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the act into law on Aug. 6, 1965, just 13 months after signing the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

Tickets to the special Jan. 10 screening are available for $8 adult and $7.50 for children and senior citizens. The movie is rated PG-13. Local Civil Rights leaders, who participated at the grassroots level to register voters or on the national level at the White House, will offer first-hand accounts of their experience.

The City is offering KAT bus transportation to the movie leaving promptly from the Civic Coliseum parking garage at 2:00 returning around 6:30 p.m. The vehicles seat up to six mobility devices, if interested RSVP to Joshalyn Hundley by January 9, 2015. Additionally, 40 passenger seats will be available on a first come first serve basis.

Other events are planned for March 8th and August 6th. More details are coming soon about these events and others.