We were sad to learn that Theresa Burroughs, a StoryCorps participant and champion for the right to vote, died at the age of 89 in her hometown of Greensboro, Alabama.

We were fortunate that Theresa came to StoryCorps with her daughter, Toni Love, to share her story of coming of age during the Jim Crow era. Theresa joined with other civil rights demonstrators who would appear at Alabama’s Hale County Courthouse on the first and third Monday of every month to pursue their right to vote.


Theresa describes the obstacles the board of registrars put in their place in “A More Perfect Union,” the animation we created of her story. Watch the animation here.


Theresa later founded the Safe House Black History Museum in Greensboro to document the local struggle for equality. You can watch Theresa speak to the production team of “A More Perfect Union” at the museum in the behind-the-scenes video below.

After finally gaining her right to vote, Theresa said it was a joy to finally vote, but that “it shouldn’t have been this hard.” We honor the hard work Theresa did to expand the right to vote in her community and thus strengthen our democracy, and we hope to live by her example so that it doesn’t have to be so hard for future generations.

— Rachel Hartman, Co-Executive Producer, Animation