Voting Discrimination in African American Communities

739 Words Jan 31st, 2018 3 Pages
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…
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