African Americans and the Vote, this year’s themed Black History Month display, is up now in Trexler Library. Check it out to learn more about prominent African Americans who fought for the right to vote and the history of disenfranchisement of black citizens in the US.
In 1870, the Fifteenth Amendment gave all citizens, regardless of race, the right to vote, but most African Americans remained disenfranchised. During the Jim Crow Era, many states passed laws and amended their constitutions to restrict voting through literacy tests, poll taxes, property-ownership requirements, and other clauses that prevented black Americans from voting. African Americans gained the full voting rights of citizens through the Voting Rights Act of 1965, almost 100 years after the ratification of the Fifteenth Amendment. However, many black communities still face disenfranchisement through modern voter suppression.
You can find more resources for Black History Month on our guide.