Posted in women trailblazers

“I’m Fired Up and I’m Fed Up” Rosanell Eaton

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What motivates you?

Thursday’s tribute to Black History Month is about voting rights activist, Rosanell Eaton. She is 94 years old and has been fighting for equality since she was eighteen.

I get so angry writing about the 2013 repressive voter ID bill, HB 589  that it’s hard to settle into the story. I’ve included links here because I can’t believe the suppression. My blood pressure goes up just thinking about it.

Sure, there are more than two sides to any story. Legal documentation is important. Everyone understands that. However, HB 589, passed by the North Carolina legislature and Republican governor, Pat McCrory, is truly unfair to many people.

Eaton, along with others, has been at the helm for years bringing awareness to the narrow-minded thinking behind HB 589. The law mandates that voters show a birth certificate, valid driver’s license, and photo ID. Not only are elderly people affected, those with disabilities and low-income rural residents without transportation are not fairly represented. Early voting has been reduced. It is no small wonder that 94% of the voters affected are African-American or other so-called minorities.

Remember the Bush v Gore debacle in Florida?

One wonders why any prudent thinking legislator would make it so difficult to vote in the United States. The only thing I can think of is the obvious: money, fear, and greed. We have come to a crisis in the U.S. where mostly wealthy Caucasians run multinational corporations with the usual glut of self-serving politicians, self-interest groups, lobbyists, and super PACs  behind the scenes as puppet masters. Nothing new.

Please take the time to read this article which explains Eaton’s situation clearly.

It is unthinkable that an elderly woman such as Rosanell Eaton, to prove her identity, would have to be driven by her daughter to thirteen different offices. The trip to the Department of Motor Vehicles is over 200 miles from her home.

Not only did Eaton have to go to battle to vote in 2013, she was mistreated in the Jim Crow South in the 1930’s. Crosses were burned on her lawn. Just to earn the right to cast a ballot back in the day, two voter “registrars” commanded her to stand in place and “not look to the right nor the left.” They demanded that she recite the preamble to the Constitution of the United States. She delivered.

Rosanell Eaton has voted in every election until now because of HB 589.

And now, she has to prove herself again? In 2016?

She is going to court.

Regulations are put into effect to safeguard laws and to protect people’s identity. But certainly, some leniency should be provided to protect the elderly, disabled people, or those who are not in the regular workforce. If there is written document from any professional agency, or a doctor or a social service agency verifying that the person is who they claim to be, shouldn’t that be enough to vote? Shouldn’t a photo ID be issued based on proper documentation and witness identification?

Think about it. Would you be able to recite the preamble from memory?

How much are you willing to do to insist upon your legal rights to vote? If you make it to 94, do you think YOU would be able to stand up for yourself and others?

Rosanell Eaton is a shero!


I made it this far and plan to keep going. I believe nature heals the soul. I love to journal, to write, do art, and music. I'm not afraid to tackle tough subjects. Solar-powered & drive hybrid. Trying to do my part. Earned my BA at 53. And, I believe, it's never too late to have a happy childhood.

4 thoughts on ““I’m Fired Up and I’m Fed Up” Rosanell Eaton

  1. Thank you, Sue, for sharing this post. As a 73-year-old African American woman who lived through Jim Crow and the Civil Rights era, I am saddened by the repressive actions that some of our political leaders have initiated to obliterate laws implemented to ensure fair and equal treatment in this country.

    1. Hi Yvonne, welcome! Thank you for stopping by. Isn’t it something how we are still pushing for accountability and recognition of what is ethical and fair? It is my hope and prayer that things will change. I’m eager to see Rosanell Eaton win this battle. As Pollyanna-ish as it sounds, I still believe in positive change. Bright blessings and happy writing.

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