Thursday, April 26, 2012

My Mother's Election Year... 1944 to 2012

As I brush up on my reading.......   Here are various authors, writers and source data... I googled ASK... When did Black gain the right to vote?

.........Local and state authorities never funded black education equally nor did African Americans have equal access to public accommodations. To make matters worse, after the 1890's:  nearly all southern blacks lost their right to vote through measures such as poll taxes, literacy tests, and the white primary. For the next fifty years racial segregation prevailed, reinforced by disfranchisement, official coercion, and vigilante terror. In addition, starting in 1913 with the presidency of Woodrow Wilson, who had close ties to the South, the federal government imposed racial segregation in government offices in Washington, D.C. (a policy that would not be reversed until the administration of Franklin D. Roosevelt in the 1930s).

The bedrock of Jim Crow began to crack after World War II.

Only when the federal government took action after World War II in what has been called “the Second Reconstruction” did segregation fall, thereby highlighting the critical position Washington, D.C. played in preserving and then dismantling Jim Crow.

The war had exposed the horrors of Nazi racism....In 1948, President Harry S. Truman issued an executive order desegregating the armed forces, thus reversing a longstanding practice. In 1954, the Supreme Court justices in Brown v. the Board of Education reversed Plessy (1896) and decided that legally sanctioned racial segregation was inherently unequal and a violation of the Fourteenth Amendment. Nevertheless, the Brown ruling signaled only a first step, and it took another decade and a mass movement for civil rights for African Americans to tear down the racist edifices of segregation in the South.

Although the Fifteenth Amendment (1870) provided Blacks with suffrage, southern states enacted legislation, which used such things as the poll tax and literacy test to prohibit Blacks from actually capitalizing on their right to vote. Poll taxes survived until the Twenty-fourth Amendment (1964).......the poll tax and literacy tests geared toward restricting certain groups, the voting age remained 21 until 1971

Segregation was intended to debase African Americans, strip them of their dignity, reinforce their inequality, and maintain a submissive agricultural labor force.

In addition, Jim Crow can be viewed as a system of “disease control.” Segregation quarantined blacks to prevent them from infecting whites with the social and cultural impurities associated with “inferior” African Americans. White men established segregation to keep black men from having sexual relations with white women. Viewing miscegenation as the ultimate threat to the perpetuation of their superior racial stock, they often resorted to lynching black men for allegedly raping white women. In doing so, white men not only reinforced their control over blacks but also white women. They sought to maintain the virtue and chastity of their wives and daughters, reinforcing their patriarchal roles as husband, father, and ultimately guardian of their communities. However, it can be debated whether the real issue was sexual purity or power, for many white southern men both during slavery and Jim Crow actively pursued clandestine sexual relations with black women.

Blacks confronted Jim Crow to defeat white supremacy and obtain political power—the kind that could result in jobs, affordable housing, satisfactory health care, and evenhanded treatment by the police and the judicial system. Rather than erasing their pride in being black or expressing a desire to be like whites, African Americans gained an even greater respect for their race through participation in the Civil Rights Movement and their efforts to shatter Jim Crow.

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