Voting While Black
Government. Politics. Racism.
Is there Good Reason? Is there a Method?
Racism: Reason to Vote? | BeingBlackToday.com
U.S. Voting Rights Timeline
States Given Power to Decide Who Votes

Each state is granted the power to set its own voting requirements by the U.S. Constitution.

With this power, most states limited the right to vote only to white males who owned property or paid taxes, which represented 6% of the American population.

New Rules for Granting U.S. Citizenship

The passage of the Naturalization Act of 1790 established the first ever set of rules for granting U.S. citizenship.

This law allowed for white people born outside of the United States to become citizens, if they were free and of "good character". All indentured servants, American Indians, slaves, free blacks, and Asians were excluded.

The law also specified that children of U.S. citizens born abroad inherited citizenship, while children born in the U.S. of fathers who never lived in the country, did not inherit citizenship.

Free Male Black's Voting Rights Rescinded

Over the next 50 years, the few, mostly northern, states that previously granted state-level citizenship and the right to vote to Black males, begin rescinding the right to vote.

The trend would continue for nearly 50 years.

Voting Does Not Require Property Ownership

Over the next 60 years, particular states will slowly abolish the requirement for white males to own property for the right to vote.

All Males Born in the U.S. Now Considered Citizens

The 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution guarantees citizenship to all males born (or naturalized) in the United States.

Denying the Right to Vote Now Unconstitutional

Black males in Northern states could vote, but the majority of African Americans lived in the South, where Blacks and poor whites where disenfranchised through poll taxes, literacy tests, violence, and other restrictions.

In large measure, to support the voting rights of freedmen after the American Civil War, the 15th Amendent to the U.S. Constitution was added to prevents states from denying the right to vote on the grounds of "race, color, or previous condition of servitude".

Violence and Fraud Used to Stop Black Voters

Beginning in the 1870s, white Democrats use engage paramilitary groups and use violence, as well as fraud, to suppress Black Republican voters.

Democrats raged against the Black vote, attacking communities, destroying lives and property, forcing many Blacks to flee the cities.

Native Americans Receive Tainted Offer

The U.S. government, focused on taking lands from Native Americans, in the interest of white settlers, passed the Dawes Act of 1887.

The Dawes Act was designed to abolish tribal and communal land ownership of the tribes, so that land could be transferred to the settlers.

In exchange, Native Americans were offered citizenship, along with the right to vote, IF the would deny their heritage, claims to land, and disassociate from their tribes.

New Laws Used to Stop Voting by Blacks

After years of violence and corruption, the southern Democrats gained control of state legislatures from Republicans.

And, to counter the 15th Amendment to the U.S. Constituion, the former Confederate states in the South begin passing a series of laws, new constituions, and constitutional admendments to make voter registration and voting more difficult for Black citizens.

Through continuing violence and the passage of laws, they succeeded in disenfranchising most of the Black citizens, as well as many poor whites in the South.

For many decades to follow, the Republican Party was nearly eliminated in the region.

Senators Now Elected by Voting Public

When Congress was first established by the Constitution, senators were selected by state legislatures, not by popular elections. However, many states had voluntarily gravitated towards the popular election of senators.

In 1913, the 17th Amendent to the U.S. Constitution formerly gave voters rather than state legislatures the right to directly elect their senators.

Basics: How the United States
Democratic Government Works
Voting Rights March 1960
Selma Alabama
Malcom X 1964
The Ballot or The Bullet
Shame:  Bamboozled Yet Again
by an Old Trick from the Books
The black man should control the politics and the politicians in his own community... The time when white people can come in our community and get us to vote for them so that they can be our political leaders and tell us what to do and what not to do is long gone... The time when that same white man... can send another negro into the community and get you and me to support him so he can use him to lead us astray -- those days are long gone too.
Malcom X, The Ballot or the Bullet, 1964