Cherie DeBrest cast her first ballot nearly 30 years ago and has voted in every election since.
She felt “duty-bound” to vote in honor of those before her who weren’t allowed. She credits her inspiration to early suffragettes, Black women like Mary Church Terrell and Ida B. Wells, who fought for the right to vote in 1920, but never got the chance to vote themselves. She carries their legacy, along with so many others in the fight for civil rights, each time she goes into the voting booth.
But last year, she decided to take it a step further and started working at the polls in her North Philadelphia neighborhood.
Using StoryCorps Connect, she spoke with her 18-year-old daughter, Naima.
Top Photo: Cherie and Naima DeBrest following their StoryCorps interview in Philadelphia, PA on October 21, 2020. Courtesy of Naima DeBrest.
Originally aired October 30, 2020, on NPR’s Morning Edition.