A.E. Dick Howard Helped Guarantee Black Voting Rights (VA & Christ Church '58)

A.E. Dick Howard was a confident young college professor, only 34, when he got the assignment of a lifetime: Oversee the writing of a new constitution for Virginia.

Hope was hard to come by that year — 1968 — with cities in upheaval over the assassinations of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. and Robert F. Kennedy. But Howard’s task amounted to a stroke against the darkest forces of society.

The document he helped create repudiated a Virginia constitution adopted in 1902 with the stated purpose of disenfranchising Black people, which it did with bureaucratic efficiency for decades. The new constitution went into effect on July 1, 1971, finally bringing the modern era to the state where American slavery originated.

Read more at The Washington Post.