“On the day of the swearing-in, it really hit me, the significance of the whole thing. It hadn't sunk in until I was standing there on the floor with my hand in the air and reciting that oath. It's one of the highlights of my life. I carried a scarf with me that my sister had made for me. She started doing some research on our family history and she found out that our great-grandfather three times removed was able to sign an 'X' to vote during Reconstruction. He couldn't write. He couldn't sign his name. But he wanted to vote. She took that document and had it printed on a scarf. I had it with me on the day that I was sworn in because it's a reminder of how far we've come, how much we need to fight for. It's my ancestors who got me here. I carried it around that entire day and I've been carrying it around with me ever since.”

Tagged: swearing-in , reconstruction , Illiteracy , voting

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