Reconstruction Period Research Forum
Reconstruction politics - 100 years later
Any southern black person over the age of 50 remembers when neither they nor their parents could enter the voting booth. After much violence and bloodshed (and many deaths), southern blacks were finally registered in Mississippi, Louisiana, Alabama and other southern states. Their sacrifices revealed to the country and the world that a right, taken for granted by most white Americans, was not a right for minorities in the south. This led to the (need for) passage of a Voting Rights Act.
Some may even remember when there were GRAVE consequences to attempting to cast your vote - even after the passage of the Voting Rights Act of 1965! Perhaps this is why so many of our elders hold their right to vote sacred. However, there were ways in which some in power could enforce their beliefs upon those not in power. The RIGHT to something doesn't necessarily mean the opportunity will be available.
Why should there be arguments for and against the extension of the Voting Rights Act?
1) An introduction to the issue of Federal Voting Rights, courtesy of the United States Department of Justice. ¹
2) Historical background, Freedom Riders, Sit-ins and CORE. ²
3) A thoughtful analysis, from the author of The Two Reconstructions: The Struggle for Black Enfranchisement. ³
¹ "Introduction To Federal Voting Rights Laws." United States Department of Justice (website). 13 Aug. 2005 [http://www.usdoj.gov/crt/voting/intro/intro.htm].
² "Blacks in the South Finally get to go to the Polls." Voting Rights Act of 1965. C.O.R.E.. 13 Aug. 2005 [http://tinyurl.com/8gpp8].
³ V a l e l l y, Richard M. "Ballots in the Balance, Does the 1965 Voting Rights Act Still Matter?." University of Chicago Press. 13 Aug. 2005. [http://www.press.uchicago.edu][;http://tinyurl.com/826ao]
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