When researching ideas for happenings that occurred on February 3 in history, I happened upon another Constitutional event: the ratification of the 15th Amendment. This law also pertained to black Americans, but this time it pertained to voting, in particular, to allow voting for African-American men. “The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any state on account of race, color, or previous condition of servitude.” Ratified on February 3, 1870, it was sadly, not fully realized for nearly a century. Some states made conditions for voting so strict that many black men could not “pass muster.” Poll taxes and literacy tests were just some of the roadblocks used to make voting more difficult for blacks. The situation changed in 1965 with the passage of the Voting Rights Act. It is disconcerting for me personally to realize it took so long—and within my lifetime—to ensure the right of blacks to vote in every state.
Elaine Marie Cooper’s novel, Love’s Kindling is the second-place winner in Historical Romance for the 2020 Selah Award contest. Two of her books (Fields of the Fatherless and Bethany’s Calendar) each placed first in their categories. Like many of Cooper’s books, including her newest release (Scarred Vessels), it focuses on the era of the American Revolution. She has authored several historical novels, a non-fiction memoir (Bethany’s Calendar), and has been published in numerous anthologies and magazines. Although not a current resident of New England, Cooper’s heart for history was birthed there and continues to thrive.