It came to my attention that when people are asked why it's important to vote, their usual answer is to participate in our governmental system. Don't get me wrong, that's a solid answer. However, voting to me is much more than that.

Not only is it my right as an American to vote and have my voice and opinion be heard, but I feel like as a black male in America I am obligated to vote. You see, in the 1960s, there were many brave and impassioned black Americans who protested, marched, were arrested and even died working toward voting equality. For me to sit with idle hands once Election Day comes around the corner is just insulting to me. It's almost as if I don't care about all the injustice black Americans have gone through just so I could finally have my voice be heard by the government.

I believe that the youth today, which includes myself and especially black teens, need to be more involved with the elections. What the youth in America don't realize is that we are an underrated powerful force that can almost easily change the tide in the polls. If any of my friends decided not to vote, I'd tell them this fact and let them know one vote can be powerful enough to decide an election.

No one vote is meaningless and unheard. If this doesn't encourage them it's honestly up to the parents to encourage their decision from there. It's up to them to introduce their kids to the world of politics. They need to understand that there are acts and policies out there that can greatly affect them in the future.

Voting is a chance for the youth to mold what their future can be, and they shouldn't miss their window of opportunity.