Discrimination in voting has been a prevalent issue in the African American community. Before the Voting Rights Act of 1965 poll taxes, literacy tests, and physical intimidation have prevented African Americans from voting. While this problem is widely recognized as an issue of the past it is still made possible through racial gerrymandering. This is an important matter because it has restricted fully entitled American citizens from voting. In 1870 Congress passed the fifteenth amendment, which gave voting rights to African Americans. Soon after, states began enforcing expensive poll taxes and extensive literacy tests on African Americans before they could vote. Poll taxes were first introduced in 1876 with the intention of being enforced upon blacks and whites. The tax was disproportionately hard on African Americans and especially on freed slaves. The literacy tests issued to African Americans were exceedingly demanding. These tests were up to twenty pages long and included questions such as, “Where do presidential electors cast ballots for president?” “Name the rights a person has after he has been indicted by a grand jury.”, according to freerepublic.com. Literacy tests were impractical with the very little formal education given to African Americans. On top of that, physical intimidation and violence from the Ku Klux Klan made it nearly impossible for Blacks to vote. Luckily, the Voting Rights Act of 1965 outlawed discrimination in voting. Today, gerrymandering
The 15th amendment gave African American men the right to vote by saying that the” right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any state on account of race, color, or previous condition of servitude." Sadly, African American men wouldn’t be able to exercise this right for almost a whole century. Using literacy tests, poll taxes, and other methods Southern states could prevent African Americans from voting. It took the passing of Voting Rights Act of 1965 before most African Americans in the South could vote. Woman went
The United States first began to deal with the issue of voter suppression during the Reconstruction. During Reconstruction freed slaves earned their right to vote and hold office through the fifteenth amendment in 1870. In 1877, Democrats, known as Dixiecrats, began to impose laws that were designed to suppress the African American vote or better known as Jim Crow Laws. The Jim Crow voting laws required the freedmen to pass literacy tests that they were unable to pass because of no formal education because of their status of slaves. Many states created poll taxes, which many poor Americans, white and black, were unable to pay. Many precincts made their voting precincts “white only” so that blacks would have nowhere to cast their votes. The Jim Crow voter suppression tactics were so successful that only three percent of African Americans in the south were registered to vote in 1940. Although African American males were given the right to vote in
The Fifteenth Amendment gave black males over the age of 21 the right to vote. However, southern states set up poll taxes and literacy test in order to keep most blacks from voting. In order to keep the white votes they set up the grandfather clause, which allowed the seventy-five percent of the poor illiterate white people to still vote if they were the son or grandson of someone who was eligible to vote before 1867.
Soon after passage of the Voting Rights Act, federal examiners were conducting voter registration, and black voter registration began a sharp increase. The cumulative effect of the Supreme Court’s decisions, Congress’ enactment of voting rights legislation, and the ongoing efforts of concerned private citizens and the Department of Justice, has been to restore the right to vote guaranteed by the Fourteenth and Fifteenth Amendments. The Voting Rights Act itself has been called the single most effective piece of civil rights legislation ever passed by
Once African American’s were given the right to vote the infamous literacy tests became a prerequisite to vote in southern states. This was a nuisance to the African Americans because they were in place to put a barrier between African Americans and voting, these test were impossible for most African Americans. Another part of the voting process that became difficult and complicated for African Americans was the Application itself. The application differed from state to state but in order to fill it out completely the person would have to include personal information about themselves. Comparing the application to modern applications shows the intentions of the officials and how “important” the questions were.
However, there was no law to restrict black American citizens from voting the American citizens saw fit to take it upon themselves to deny them the right to vote. Prior to the vigilantes, the government installed a literacy test for the purpose of determining whether one meets the requirements set by the government, “Literacy tests were used to keep people of color and, sometimes, poor whites from voting.” (The Rise and Fall of Jim Crow). Creating a situation where only the smartest could pass a test, including questions about government, office, and congress. Unfortunately, if an unwanted citizen passed, they were on many an occasion failed anyway, still, if you managed to pass you would have been forced to pay a poll tax that many African American citizens could not afford. If against all odds that you managed to pay and pass the poll tax and literacy test, you would then be confronted by many white vigilantes ‘warning’ you not to vote. The Jim Crow laws caused many a problem in numerous lives, however, through it all, people prevailed and Jim Crow laws were revoked from all states and were
“The Voting Rights Act of 1965 is a landmark piece of federal legislation in the United States that prohibits racial discrimination in voting.” In the 1880’s poll taxes and literacy requirements that afterward advocated African Americans to vote. Meanwhile Klan violence frightens from police and employers, blacks were still “protesting”about voting rights. As a result, there were over two dozen blacks serving in state congress across some
In order to limit the voting rights of African Americans, there were poll taxes, literacy tests, and grandfather clauses were created. The poll taxes was an annual taxes, for those who wanted to vote.
Nearly 100 years after the 15th amendment was ratified, vast disparities and blatant discrimination in voting process and practice were still pervasive, particularly in certain southern states like Alabama, Mississippi, and Louisiana. The 1965 Voting Rights Act (VRA) was enacted by congress to address this enduring inequity. Section 5 of the VRA requires that states meeting criteria set out in section 4(b) of the act, must obtain federal “preclearance” before enacting any laws that affect voting. Section 4(b) provides the conditions for the preclearance requirement as state or jurisdictions where less than 50% of minorities were registered to vote in 1964.
Throughout America’s history the franchise has been withheld from different groups. This has been possible due to weakly written laws that do not provide adequate protections. In 1965 PL 89-110 was passed, this law, commonly known as the Voting Rights Act of 1965, finally provided real protections for minorities living in southern states. In recent years the language of the law was modified within the Supreme Court to take away the law’s primary power. In the following mock Congressional testimony we will go back to 1848, 13 years before the American Civil War, and provide evidence of why a law like PL 89-110 is necessary and commendable.
This amendment was created to remove all doubt about the Civil Rights Acts in 1866, and it also included African Americans. The Fifteenth Amendment was ratified in 1870 to give African American males the right to vote, which no one could bribe or make someone not vote because of their race. These amendments had brought attention to African Americans, and their rights as citizens of the United States. These rights sparked a feeling of importance within their community as if things were starting to change for the better, even though they had face more obstacles due to white supremacy groups, such as the Ku Klux Klan, horrified at the thought of being equal to African Americans.8 However, as more and more freed slaves start to register to vote, more black individuals became involved in politics. Blanche K. Bruce and Hiram Revels were African Americans that served in the U.S Senate and Frederick Douglas was a major figure in the abolitionist movement.9 The first black institutions were also built in the South creating a solid foundation for the future for African-Americans in
African Americans were almost completely subjugated throughout the states and many had been brutally beaten. Even after adding the 15th Amendment to the constitution, which gave all men, regardless of race or color, the right to vote, many states continued to use numerous different methods to prevent African Americans from voting.
Up until the year 1870 African Americans could not vote in any election in American. (U.S. Voting Rights). In the past America has been making a lot of changes in our voting system’s equality. In the present, legally African Americans have the same rights as a white man does. In the future the rights will not get any better or worse. Throughout history The African American voting rights have improved to the present day and will stay the same in the near future.
African-Americans may sometimes wonder at the contradictory facts about their history presented in many standard history texts. These texts state that blacks were given the right to vote in 1870, yet the same texts will acknowledge that this right did not really exist for African-Americans until the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s.
The Voting Rights Act 42 U.S.C. §§ 1973 et seq., decision is important regarding the laws governing voting rights and their relationship to minority voters. Its implication and effects however does not end within the legal realms and dimensions but continues through to society, culture, and human rights. The Voting Rights Act initially established in 1965 under Lyndon B. Johnson’s administration protected “racial minorities” from biased voting practices. It was a huge stride in the civil rights movement and a victory over harmful, archaic, and biased voting practices and traditions.