Following the 2008 election that saw record turnout of minorities and youth, North Carolina and other states witnessed an onslaught of Republican-sponsored laws aimed at restricting voting through identification requirements and other measures that disproportionately affect African Americans, Latinos, students, the elderly and the poor -- traditionally Democratic constituencies.

A video produced by students at Duke University's Center for Documentary Studies in collaboration with the voting-rights watchdog group Democracy North Carolina puts these laws in historical context. It looks at the expansion of the franchise during Reconstruction and the rise of interracial fusion politics, and subsequent efforts by the Democratic Party -- then a party of conservatism and white supremacy -- to turn back the clock.

Titled "Forward Together, Not One Step Back," the 14-minute documentary features historical footage as well as interviews with Democracy NC Executive Director Bob Hall, Duke University professor and author Tim Tyson, and N.C. Central University law professor Irving Joyner. Watch it here:



(19th century propaganda cartoon calling for restricting the black vote is a still from the video.)