The stakes have never been higher in our lifetime than voting for the 2020 presidential election. Often a right taken for granted in this country, Americans have been submitting their ballots at historic rates, while Joe Biden and Donald Trump sling not-so-thinly veiled shots through commercial campaign ads on TV.
The importance of this moment cannot be stressed enough. At a time where Black and brown people are facing unprecedented perils — from COVID to cops to all-around caucasity — forces are still attempting to silence those voices using the law and any other excuses it can muster.
To continue encouraging the Black and brown community to head to the polls, ESSENCE has restarted its #BlackVotersMatter365 initiative. With the energy surrounding this year’s election (Black) mirroring 2016, these stars with huge voices and platforms are sharing the importance of casting your vote and being politically engaged.
Driving home the point, ESSENCE received special messages from the likes of VanJess, Givēon, India Shawn, Xavier Omär, Saweetie, and Vic Mensa. Watch the videos below detailing why #BlackVotersMatter365, find your polling place via the Voter’s Hub, and circle your early voting date to beat the Election Day rush.
Xavier Omär on having our voices heard…
Participating in local and federal elections are just two ways for people to support policies that serve their communities’ needs and ensure that they have a say in the decisions that benefit all of society, and not just the few and powerful.
Saweetie on her first-time voting…
In the wake of the killings on young Black and brown Americans, Generation-Z have been addressing the systemic racist agenda through marches, protests, and civil disobedience. Despite the stakes on the line, these resilient voices are encouraging the disengaged, the politically inactive to sway those who are non-voters by choice.
Givēon on how voting can improve our future…
All indications point out that young voters across the country are lining up to do their part for Nov. 3. With so much excitement for the massive turnout in voting, ESSENCE is encouraging everyone to mind COVID-19 protocols and be very safe while advocating for a generational shift of political power at the polls.
VanJess on how voting can make an impact…
Political activism has electrified the Black and brown community in an unprecedented way. With the clock ticking down to Nov. 3, people are coming out in droves to vote early and flood election offices — even enduring huge lines to cast ballots — and make a concerted effort to protect the nation’s democracy.
Vic Mensa on his first time voting…
For many people, disengagement as a voter is an annoying act of self-sabotage. The sheer selfishness of such behavior can keep other potential voters without access to a myriad of issues. Ahead of Election Day, let’s not stay at home and rattle our concerns to the sky.
India Shawn on being an active voter…
The rising group of potential voters is 142 million people as of 2018, which points to a concern for most politically-minded Americans. With much overlap between campaigns promises and COVID-19 concerns, young voters are still eager to be involved and have showed up to the tune of more than 26 million as of Saturday, Oct. 17.
Stay engaged, stay active, and stay activated as we head to the polls to vote on Nov. 3.
For more information, check out the ESSENCE Voter’s Hub.
Kevin L. Clark is a writer and producer of The Playlist, where artists share their music faves every Friday on Essence.com.