African Americans' Suffrage and Racism


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Slide 1

African American’s Suffrage and Racism Civil Rights Movement 1830s-1965 Valentina Luyen Learning Cluster 200.12 Professor James Spady

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How did African Americans progress, even when encountering racism, to obtain their voting rights?

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“Evolve those ideologies so as to create new ideas and ways of seeing race relations, racism, civil rights, and the condition[s] of black people in the United States” (Burrell 2012) Racism

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Terms: Racism: racial prejudice or discrimination One race is superior or greater than the other Suffrage- the right to vote Democracy- the practice or principles of social equality

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Jim Crow and Segregation Plessy v. Ferguson (1856) “separate but equal” (Kirk 2009) All public accommodations (i.e. restrooms, restaurants, fountains, and buses) are segregated Brown v. Board of Education  desegregation 14th Amendment: It prohibits states from reducing the privileges of citizens and ensures each citizen the 'right to due process and the equal protection of the law'.

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NAACP National Association for Advancement of Colored People “America’s oldest and largest civil rights group; It’s history is the history of American civil rights in the past century” (Kirk 2009) Advocated desegregation and voting rights

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Civil Rights Act of 1964 End of major forms of discrimination against racial, ethnic, national and religious minorities, and women Ended unequal application of voter registration requirements End of racial segregation in schools, at "public accommodations”

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15th Amendment THE RIGHT TO VOTE Article XV. Section 1. 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— Ratified February 3rd 1870

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Voting Suppression: Discrimination Grandfather clause Literacy Test Poll Taxes 24th Amendment All white primary elections Present: Photo Identification

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“By introducing literacy tests and poll taxes as voter qualifications, Southern Democrats undermined the 15th Amendment by effectively disenfranchising a largely illiterate and almost uniformly poor black population” (Kirk 2009)

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“Bloody Sunday” in Selma Demonstrative march to Montgomery 3,200 marchers left Selma with federal troops guarding them Promote black voter registration In response, state troopers became involved

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Voting Rights Act of 1965 (VRA) Lyndon Johnson’s (and his administration) advocacy and effort in the civil rights and in passing the Voting Rights Act as well as its success Enforced 14th and 15th amendment “suspended the use of literacy tests and other such devices […] officials were prohibited from changing voting requirements” (Carson) “now more than 9,000 Black elected officials” (Carson)

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“Give us the ballot, and we will no longer have to worry the federal government about our basic rights” – Martin Luther King Jr. (Carson) “THIS IS SELMA, ALABAMA. THERE ARE MORE NEGROES IN JAIL WITH ME THAN THERE ARE ON VOTING ROLLS” – MLK Jr. (Carson)

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VRA Restrictions/Suppression “The VRA is the basis of three federal lawsuits challenging laws that prevent people with felony convictions from voting” (Shaw and Nelson) “More than two million minorities with felony convictions are denied the right to vote every election cycle” (Shaw and Nelson) Provisions were to expired in 2007, however were extended for another 25 years Section 5, Section 203, Section 6-9

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Sections (Shaw and Nelson 2005) Section 5: “requires federal approval of any voting changes proposed by specifics states and counties that have a history of discrimination before such changes may legally take affect” Sections 6-9: “permit federal examiners/observers from the Department of Justice to monitor elections when […] needed for assistance” Section 203: “mandates that language accessible voting materials be provided in areas […] where English proficiency is limited”

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“Barack Obama’s election as US president in 2008 [and again, in 2012] points to how fast things have changed in the last 100 years” (Kirk 2009)

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Four African American’s Ideologies (Burrell) On Voting, Racism, Social Justice

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Ideologies Socialism: social equality, progressivism Racial Liberalism: socially constructed, helping hand from gov’t to eradicate of racial discrimination “view racial prejudice and discrimination as indiv. Beliefs and behaviors” (Burrell 2012) Black Nationalism: black pride and masculinity Conservatism

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Bayard Rustin American leader on civil rights activism Socialism Non-violence “reconstruct American’s social, political, and economic institution” (Burrell 2009) Integration of blacks into labor movements

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Kenneth Clark Psychologist on children Experiments on children attitudes on race Racial liberalism (Martin Luther King Jr.) Segregation harmed American society “Solutions comes from increased cooperation of black civil rights organizations and the private sectors” (Burrell 2009)

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Malcolm X Black Nationalism separatism and control of politics, and economics within its own community Violence in achieving black’s objectives When embracing ballot, rejected violence ““the ballot [was the] most important” weapon that American blacks had in trying to obtain true freedom in America; even more important than money” (Burrell 2009)

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George Schuyler Conservatism Journalist, social commentator, author “had to deal with the present society as it was-warts and all-, rather than operate from vantage point of how society ought to be” (Burrell 2009)

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“blacks just needed to resign themselves to the fact that white supremacy would always be a part of American culture, that blacks would always have to face racial discrimination […] once we accept the fact there is, and will always be a color caste system in United States […] we can concentrate on how to best survive and prosper within that system [with] what advantages we possess” – Schuyler (Burrell 2009)

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“No American citizen- of any color- has the individual right to vote written in the Constitution, compared to the individual rights to Freedom of Speech, freedom of religion and freedom of assembly” (Flowers) In my opinion, I find out that no matter what race, color or background an person has, he or she should have his or her basic rights—including the right to vote.

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“We […] owe it to future generations of African Americans to renew, restore and continue to enforce the Voting Rights Act until we have achieved full political equality” (Shaw and Nelson 2005) FINALLY,

Summary: by Valentina Luyen

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