Having the right to vote is a part of America’s Constitution. Never the less, African Americans did not always have that opportunity to vote. In the past, African Americans had to face many challenges that prevented them to vote. Although presently, many people do not know of The NAACP, established in 1909, decided to contest the law.
At first, it successfully closed loopholes in southern disfranchisement that had permitted some poor, illiterate whites to vote. But its most important early success was the Supreme Court’s 1944 decision prohibiting the white primary. The Court ruled that Texas had made the party primary part of the public electoral process; therefore the white-only primary violated black rights under the Fifteenth Amendment. Despite that victory, poll taxes, literacy tests, and the manipulation of election laws by local registrars effectively excluded the vast majority of black adults. The struggle for southern enfranchisement (a major goal of the civil rights movement) accelerated after World War II for several reasons, among them the belief that the United States was hypocritical in claiming that it was defending freedom against Soviet communism while oppressing African-Americans at home (Niemi, 1993).
But the most important reason was the migration of millions of black southerners to the North, where blacks already voted.
That circumstance gave blacks political leverage on both parties. But because Democrats hoped to retain the allegiance of southern white voters and Republicans wished to attract those voters, weak compromises resulted in the form of the Civil Rights Acts of 1957 and 1960, which ineffectually authorized federal protection of black voting rights. The civil rights struggle intensified in the early 1960 s. After passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, activists focused increasingly on the suffrage.
... their way, chiefly white supremacists and the laws and restrictions they placed upon African-Americans. Beginning with the black codes established by President ... under American law. Court rulings as a result of the Civil Rights Act of 1875 did not help. The courts ... qualifications by not allowing those whose grandfathers were ineligible to vote before 1867. The total number of eligible voters in ...
The Mississippi Freedom Summer in 1964 registered few black Mississippians but drew national attention to black disfranchisement. Then, in March 1965, the Alabama State Troopers’ assault on marchers outside the town of Selma generated so much support for national protection of black voters that President Lyndon B. Johnson demanded passage of an effective voting rights act, which he signed into law in August. When combined with prohibition of the poll tax in federal elections by the Twenty-third Amendment and a sweeping Supreme Court decision in 1966, the Voting Rights Act of 1965 sparked the registration of the vast majority of eligible black southerners. In 1963, Selma, Alabama, was a small town of about 30, 000 people.
It was located in Dallas County, where only 1% of eligible blacks were registered to vote. Many blacks were apathetic about voting, which they saw as “white folks’ business.” As in Mississippi, it was supremely difficult for blacks to register to vote. The registrar’s office was only open twice a month, and the registrars often came in late, took long lunch breaks, and went home early. Few blacks passed the required test for registration, even though they were sometimes more educated than the registrars.
Once, an official giving a test to a black teacher stumbled over some words. “The teacher finally said, “Those words are “constitutionality” and “interrogatory,” ‘” remembered Amelia Boynton, a black Selma resident and activist. “The registrar turned red with anger. [The teacher] flunked the test and was refused her registration certificate.” In addition, whites met attempts by blacks to register with strong resistance. When SNCC organized a “Freedom Day” on October 7, 1963, a local photographer, under orders from Sheriff Jim Clark, took pictures of the 250 blacks who lined up to register and asked them what their employers would think of the pictures. Police beat SNCC workers who tried to bring food and water to those in line.
... the Voting Rights Act into law. By 1969, 61% of voting-age blacks in America were registered to vote, compared to 23% in 1964. The Selma to ... . 7% of Mississippi's voting-age blacks were registered to vote, 16. 3% below the national average.In 1963, Selma, Alabama, was a small town ...
The Voting Rights Act of 1965 prohibits discrimination in voting practices or procedures because of race and color. In 1957 and 1960, Congress had enacted voting rights laws that took small steps toward increasing minority voting participation for all Americans. The 1965 Act, however, made huge strides towards making voting rights a reality. The Act prohibited literacy tests and poll taxes that had been used to prevent blacks from voting. In 1975, Congress recognized the need to protect citizens who did not read or speak English well enough to participate in the political process and expanded the protections of the Voting Rights Act to them. In 1963, civil rights activists began an effort to register black voters in Dallas County, Alabama.
During 1963 and 1964, although they brought potential voters by the hundreds to the registrar’s office in the courthouse in Selma, they were unable to get them registered to vote. In January and February 1965, protests were held in Selma to bring attention to this violation of rights. The protests were met by violence by Sheriff James Clark and his deputies. On February 17, a small civil rights march ended in the shooting of Jimmy Lee Jackson who died from his wounds several days later. The civil rights activists decided to hold a memorial march from Selma to the state capitol in Montgomery on March. 7.
Why don’t people vote, especially those who have so much stakes in the outcome of elections? People offer many reasons: my vote won’t make a difference; the candidates are all alike; no one’s listening to me. But how can we say voting isn’t important in the face of historical figures like Fannie Lou Hamer, Vernon Dahmer, Medgar Evers, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. , and Andrew Goodman, Mickey Schwerner and James Chaney? Who are they? Most of us have heard of Dr.
... effect of the Voting Rights Act was that the South was forever changed. The fact that the blacks were able to vote was very ... had more than doubled. In 1965, Mississippi had the highest black voter turnout, 74 percent, and led the nation in the number ... the matter was by separating they were discriminating. The ruling stated Our Constitution is color-blind. In respect of civil rights ...
King and Medgar Evers, both famous black men who died because they insisted that African Americans should have the right to vote. But thousands of other people have made incredible sacrifices too, including death, to win the vote for you, including the other names on that list. Fannie Lou Hamer was beaten and lost her job and her house for insisting she had a right to vote in Mississippi. Vernon Dahmer died protecting his family and home from a Ku Klux Klan attack because he allowed blacks to pay their poll tax at his store.
Goodman, Schwerner and Chaney believed in the right to vote so much that they traveled to the south to help blacks there register. For that, they were murdered. The Voters Right Act signed in 1965 by Lyndon B. Johnson was just an act. It was not made a Law.
In 1982 Ronald Reagan amended the Voters Rights Act for only another 25 years. Which means that in the year 2007 we could lose the right to vote! Does anyone realize that Blacks/African Americans Are the only group of people who require PERMISSION under the United States Constitution to vote! In the year 2007 Congress will once again convene to decide whether or not Blacks should retain the right to vote (crazy, but true).
In order for this to be passed, 38 States will have to approve an extension. In my opinion and many others, this is LUDICROUS! Not only should the extension be approved, but also the Act must be made a Law. Our right to vote should no longer be up for discussion, review and / or evaluation. We must contact our Congress Person, Senators, Alder Person, etc.
, to put a stop to this! As bona fide citizens of the United States, we cannot “Drop the Ball” on this one! We have come to far to let Government make us take such a huge step backwards. So please, let us push forward to continue to build the momentum towards gaining equality.