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African Americans and the Vote
The year 2020 marks the centennial of the Nineteenth Amendment and the culmination of the women’s suffrage movement. The year 2020 also marks the sesquicentennial of the Fifteenth Amendment (1870) and the right of black men to the ballot after the Civil War. The theme speaks, therefore, to the ongoing struggle on the part of both black men and black women for the right to vote. This theme has a rich and long history, which begins at the turn of the nineteenth century, i.e., in the era of the Early Republic, with the states’ passage of laws that democratized the vote for white men while disfranchising free black men. Thus, even before the Civil War, black men petitioned their legislatures and the US Congress, seeking to be recognized as voters. Tensions between abolitionists and women’s suffragists first surfaced in the aftermath of the Civil War, while black disfranchisement laws in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries undermined the guarantees in the Fourteenth and Fifteenth Amendments for the great majority of southern blacks until the Voting Rights Act of 1965. The important contribution of black suffragists occurred not only within the larger women’s movement, but within the larger black voting rights movement. Through voting-rights campaigns and legal suits from the turn of the twentieth century to the mid-1960s, African Americans made their voices heard as to the importance of the vote. Indeed the fight for black voting rights continues in the courts today. The theme of the vote should also include the rise of black elected and appointed officials at the local and national levels, campaigns for equal rights legislation, as well as the role of blacks in traditional and alternative political parties.
Please use this guide to find resources on the 2020 Black History Month Theme: African Americans and the Vote and to find various events to celebrate Black History Month at TTC.
Visit the different TTC Library campuses to view the Black History Month displays and to find resources on the 2020 Black History Month theme: African Americans and the Vote.
Thornley Campus Library Palmer Campus Library
Conflict by This in-depth examination looks at African American women's navigation of the interlocking obstacles of race and gender specifically within the political arena. Conflict: African American Women and the New Dilemma of Race and Gender Politics offers a provocative examination of an increasingly important voting bloc, one that impacted the 2008 election and whose loyalties will have far-reaching implications for future contests. This fascinating study is three-pronged. It explores the conflicts African American women experience in prioritizing race over gender, offers data-backed analysis of the substantial power of this bloc to influence elections, and looks at the ways in which the very existence of that influence impacts the political and social empowerment of this dual-identity population. As background to the present-day story, the book surveys the history of African American females in elective office in the United States, as well as their roles in the Women's Suffrage and Civil Rights movements. The first work to undertake a study of African American women in this expansive political context, this important volume will help readers assess where African American women have been, where they are now, and what their roles might be in the future. * Quotes from African American women about their dual-identity conflicts * A bibliography
Publication Date: 2012-07-20
Stolen Justice by A thrilling and incisive examination of the post-Reconstruction era struggle for and suppression of African American voting rights in the United States.Following the Civil War, the Reconstruction era raised a new question to those in power in the US: Should African Americans, so many of them former slaves, be granted the right to vote?In a bitter partisan fight over the legislature and Constitution, the answer eventually became yes, though only after two constitutional amendments, two Reconstruction Acts, two Civil Rights Acts, three Enforcement Acts, the impeachment of a president, and an army of occupation. Yet, even that was not enough to ensure that African American voices would be heard, or their lives protected. White supremacists loudly and intentionally prevented black Americans from voting -- and they were willing to kill to do so.In this vivid portrait of the systematic suppression of the African American vote for young adults, critically acclaimed author Lawrence Goldstone traces the injustices of the post-Reconstruction era through the eyes of incredible individuals, both heroic and barbaric, and examines the legal cases that made the Supreme Court a partner of white supremacists in the rise of Jim Crow. Though this is a story of America's past, Goldstone brilliantly draws direct links to today's creeping threats to suffrage in this important and, alas, timely book.
Call Number: JK1924 .G65 2020
Publication Date: 2020-01-07
The Unfinished Agenda of the Selma-Montgomery Voting Rights March by WHY A 56-MILE WALK FOR FREEDOM IN 1965 STILL CHALLENGES AMERICA TODAY THE VOTING RIGHTS ACT OF 1965 WAS THE CROWNING ACHIEVEMENT OF THE CIVIL RIGHTS MOVEMENT, FOREVER CHANGING POLITICS IN AMERICA. NOW, FOR THE FIRST TIME, VOICES OF THE ERA, ALONG WITH SOME OF TODAY'S MOST INFLUENTIAL WRITERS, SCHOLARS, AND SOCIAL ACTIVISTS, COMMEMORATE THE STRUGGLE AND EXAMINE WHY THE BATTLE MUST STILL BE WON. ""One of the difficult lessons we have learned is that you cannot depend on American institutions to function without pressure. Any real change in the status quo depends on continued creative action to sharpen the conscience of the nation.""--MARTIN LUTHER KING JR. ""As long as half our eligible voters exercise the right that so many in Selma marched and died for, we've got a very long bridge to cross.""--BILL CLINTON ""I would hope that students today can learn from Selma to acquire a better understanding of how oppressed people with limited resources can free themselves and make the world better.""--CLAYBORNE CARSON, STANFORD UNIVERSITY
Call Number: F334 .S4 U54 2005
Publication Date: 2005-02-01
The Voting Rights Act of 1965 by Provides a detailed account of the events that led to the Voting Rights Act of 1965. Explores both the racial discrimination and violence that pervaded the South and the civil rights protests that changed American voting rights. Includes a narrative overview, biographical profiles, primary source documents, and other helpful features.
Call Number: JK1924 .H55 2009
Publication Date: 2008-12-10
The Woman's Hour by "Both a page-turning drama and an inspiration for every reader"--Hillary Rodham Clinton Soon to Be a Major Television Event The nail-biting climax of one of the greatest political battles in American history: the ratification of the constitutional amendment that granted women the right to vote. "With a skill reminiscent of Robert Caro, [Weiss] turns the potentially dry stuff of legislative give-and-take into a drama of courage and cowardice."--The Wall Street Journal "Weiss is a clear and genial guide with an ear for telling language ... She also shows a superb sense of detail, and it's the deliciousness of her details that suggests certain individuals warrant entire novels of their own... Weiss's thoroughness is one of the book's great strengths. So vividly had she depicted events that by the climactic vote (spoiler alert: The amendment was ratified!), I got goose bumps."--Curtis Sittenfeld, The New York Times Book Review Nashville, August 1920. Thirty-five states have ratified the Nineteenth Amendment, twelve have rejected or refused to vote, and one last state is needed. It all comes down to Tennessee, the moment of truth for the suffragists, after a seven-decade crusade. The opposing forces include politicians with careers at stake, liquor companies, railroad magnates, and a lot of racists who don't want black women voting. And then there are the "Antis"--women who oppose their own enfranchisement, fearing suffrage will bring about the moral collapse of the nation. They all converge in a boiling hot summer for a vicious face-off replete with dirty tricks, betrayals and bribes, bigotry, Jack Daniel's, and the Bible. Following a handful of remarkable women who led their respective forces into battle, along with appearances by Woodrow Wilson, Warren Harding, Frederick Douglass, and Eleanor Roosevelt, The Woman's Hour is an inspiring story of activists winning their own freedom in one of the last campaigns forged in the shadow of the Civil War, and the beginning of the great twentieth-century battles for civil rights.
Call Number: JK1911.T2 W45 2018
Publication Date: 2018-03-06
Jim Crow Capital by Local policy in the nation's capital has always influenced national politics. During Reconstruction, black Washingtonians were first to exercise their new franchise. But when congressmen abolished local governance in the 1870s, they set the precedent for southern disfranchisement. In the aftermath of this process, memories of voting and citizenship rights inspired a new generation of Washingtonians to restore local government in their city and lay the foundation for black equality across the nation. And women were at the forefront of this effort. Here Mary-Elizabeth B. Murphy tells the story of how African American women in D.C. transformed civil rights politics in their freedom struggles between 1920 and 1945. Even though no resident of the nation's capital could vote, black women seized on their conspicuous location to testify in Congress, lobby politicians, and stage protests to secure racial justice, both in Washington and across the nation. Women crafted a broad vision of citizenship rights that put economic justice, physical safety, and legal equality at the forefront of their political campaigns. Black women's civil rights tactics and victories in Washington, D.C., shaped the national postwar black freedom struggle in ways that still resonate today.
Publication Date: 2018-11-19
The Shadow of Selma by The Shadow of Selma evaluates the 1965 civil rights campaign in Selma, Alabama, the historical memory of the campaign?s marches, and the continuing relevance of and challenges to the Voting Rights Act. The contributors present Selma not just as a keystone event but, much like Ferguson today, as a transformative place: a supposedly unimportant location that became the focal point of epochal historical events. By shifting the focus from leaders like Martin Luther King Jr. to the thousands of unheralded people who crossed the Edmund Pettus Bridge?and the networks that undergirded and opposed them?this innovative volume considers the campaign?s long-term impact and its place in history.The volume recalls the historical currents that surrounded Selma, discussing grassroots activism, the role of President Lyndon B. Johnson during the struggle for the Voting Rights Act, and the political reaction to Selma at home and abroad. Using Ava DuVernay's 2014 Hollywood film as a stepping stone, the editors bring together various essays that address the ways media?from television and newspaper coverage to "race beat" journalism?represented and reconfigured Selma. The contributors underline the power of misrepresentation in shaping popular memory and in fueling a redemptive narrative that glosses over ongoing racial problems. Finally, the volume traces the fifty-year legacy of the Voting Rights Act. It reveals the many subtle and overt methods by which opponents of racial equality attempted to undo the act?s provisions, with a particular focus on the 2013 Shelby County v. Holder decision that eliminated sections of the act designed to prevent discrimination.Taken together, the essays urge readers not to be blind to forms of discrimination and injustice that continue to shape inequalities in the United States. They remind us that while today's obstacles to racial equality may look different from a literacy test or a grimfaced Alabama state trooper, they are no less real.Contributors: Alma Jean Billingslea Brown | Ben Houston | Peter Ling | Mark McLay | Tony Badger | Clive Webb | Aniko Bodroghkozy | Mark Walmsley | George Lewis | Megan Hunt | Devin Fergus | Barbara Harris Combs | Lynn Mie Itagaki
Publication Date: 2018-02-27
Suffrage Reconstructed by The Fourteenth Amendment, ratified on July 9, 1868, identified all legitimate voters as "male." In so doing, it added gender-specific language to the U.S. Constitution for the first time. Suffrage Reconstructed considers how and why the amendment's authors made this decision. Vividly detailing congressional floor bickering and activist campaigning, Laura E. Free takes readers into the pre- and postwar fights over precisely who should have the right to vote. Free demonstrates that all men, black and white, were the ultimate victors of these fights, as gender became the single most important marker of voting rights during Reconstruction. Free argues that the Fourteenth Amendment's language was shaped by three key groups: African American activists who used ideas about manhood to claim black men's right to the ballot, postwar congressmen who sought to justify enfranchising southern black men, and women's rights advocates who began to petition Congress for the ballot for the first time as the Amendment was being drafted. To prevent women's inadvertent enfranchisement, and to incorporate formerly disfranchised black men into the voting polity, the Fourteenth Amendment's congressional authors turned to gender to define the new American voter. Faced with this exclusion some woman suffragists, most notably Elizabeth Cady Stanton, turned to rhetorical racism in order to mount a campaign against sex as a determinant of one's capacity to vote. Stanton's actions caused a rift with Frederick Douglass and a schism in the fledgling woman suffrage movement. By integrating gender analysis and political history, Suffrage Reconstructed offers a new interpretation of the Civil War-era remaking of American democracy, placing African American activists and women's rights advocates at the heart of nineteenth-century American conversations about public policy, civil rights, and the franchise.
Publication Date: 2015-11-06
This Bright Light of Ours by This Bright Light of Ours offers a tightly focused insider's view of the community-based activism that was the heart of the civil rights movement. A celebration of grassroots heroes, this book details through first-person accounts the contributions of ordinary people who formed the nonviolent army that won the fight for voting rights. Combining memoir and oral history, Maria Gitin fills a vital gap in civil rights history by focusing on the neglected Freedom Summer of 1965 when hundreds of college students joined forces with local black leaders to register thousands of new black voters in the rural South. Gitin was an idealistic nineteen-year-old college freshman from a small farming community north of San Francisco who felt called to action when she saw televised images of brutal attacks on peaceful demonstrators during Bloody Sunday, in Selma, Alabama. Atypical among white civil rights volunteers, Gitin came from a rural low-income family. She raised funds to attend an intensive orientation in Atlanta featuring now-legendary civil rights leaders. Her detailed letters include the first narrative account of this orientation and the only in-depth field report from a teenage Summer Community Organization and Political Education (SCOPE) project participant. Gitin details the dangerous life of civil rights activists in Wilcox County, Alabama, where she was assigned. She tells of threats and arrests, but also of forming deep friendships and of falling in love. More than four decades later, Gitin returned to Wilcox County to revisit the people and places that she could never forget and to discover their views of the "outside agitators" who had come to their community. Through conversational interviews with more than fifty Wilcox County residents and former civil rights workers, she has created a channel for the voices of these unheralded heroes who formed the backbone of the civil rights movement.
Publication Date: 2014-02-11
Voting Hopes or Fears? by When President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the 1965 Voting Rights Act, he explained that it flowed from "a clear and simple wrong." But a generation later, whites still remain resistant to the election of blacks to public office. That widespread resistance, Keith Reeves illustrates, can beexplained in large part by election campaign appeals to whites' racial fears and sentiments. Based on empirical research examining white voters' attitudes towards black candidates and racial framing of campaign news coverage, Voting Hopes or Fears? explosively documents that racial discriminationagainst black candidates is contemporary, specific, and identifiable. Reeves concludes by outlining possible remedies such as modified at-large voting systems and by defending the practice of race-conscious legislative districting, now under attack by the Supreme Court.Marshaling startling evidence of voting discrimination against black candidates on account of race, and featuring a Foreword by The Honorable A. Leon Higginbotham Jr., Chief Justice Emeritus of the US Court of Appeals, Voting Hopes or Fears? will be mandatory reading for political and socialscientists, scholars of racism and African-American Studies, civil rights litigators, journalists, black lawmakers and office-seekers, and general readers interested in the subject of race and politics in American society.
Publication Date: 1997-10-23