African Americans Freedom To Vote Essay

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The freedom to vote is a very fortunate gift to have, one that should be appreciated because it came at a high cost. Equality has not always existed. Due to differences in skin tone, some people had to fight for their rights considerably harder than others. Unfortunately, African Americans endured far greater hardships before being granted a fundamental human right, the right to vote. As Lyndon B. Johnson expressed “This right to vote is the basic right without which all others are meaningless. It gives people, people as individuals, control over their own destinies.” African Americans did not suddenly acquire the right to vote, it took many hardships. Many African Americans who tried to vote reported being verbally or physically intimidated, …show more content…

Nearly a quarter of a million new black voters had been registered, one-third by federal examiners. Only four of the 13 southern states had less than 50% of African Americans registered to vote by the end of 1966. On August 6, 1965, President Lyndon Johnson ratified this law. It prohibited the discriminatory voting practices implemented in several southern states following the Civil War, such as the requirement of passing literacy tests in order to cast a vote “The Voting Rights Act prohibited discrimination on the basis of race or color, but, perhaps more importantly, the VRA identified the places where discrimination was most likely to occur and established a process to prevent discriminatory policies from taking effect in these places”. Despite the fact that the Voting Rights Act was a very major and vital step towards Black Americans gaining their rights, it was only the beginning and did not completely resolve the issue and grant African Americans their right to vote. The Constitution does not explicitly grant the right to vote. Instead, it gives states the authority to decide on voting procedures. The 15th, 19th, and 26th Amendments to the Constitution, which deal with voting, forbid discrimination based on statuses including race, ethnicity, sex, and age. According to the changes, if a state offers voting rights to one group of individuals, it cannot deny those rights to other groups of people. Black Americans were making progress; they were extremely near to obtaining the right to vote, but they still had to overcome a few more obstacles before obtaining their fundamental human

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