African American Women's Suffrage

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In US history, Black women have repeatedly been targets for discrimination and continue to be. However, since colonization of the US by european settlers, progress has been made to reduce the bigotry against this group. The struggle to achieve voting rights is a notable example of the challenges African American women have faced in the battle for equality. Black rights, women’s rights, and the Voting Rights Act of 1965 are three significant advancements toward achieving equal voting rights for African American women in the United States. The Thirteenth, Fourteenth, and Fifteenth Amendments to the US Constitution deal with the rights of African Americans and were the first steps toward African American women obtaining equal voting rights. In…show more content…
Women were considered to be were seen as politically incompetent and not able to think for themselves, thus excluding them from voting rights. As depicted in photos and illustrations from the Women’s Suffrage Movement, white women were primarily those fighting for rights, and white women did not care to include women of color in the battle. This is a result of institutional racism. The thought still existed that white people were superior to African Americans and white women feared that by including Black women, their claim would be renounced by politicians. Additionally, they asked only for voting rights and not equality because they feared that stance was too progressive and would also be denied. Originally, women tried to press for voting rights using the fifteenth Amendment, but were denied. The Supreme Court ruled that, “it did not confer upon women the right to vote but only the right not to be discriminated against on the basis of their sex in the setting of voting qualifications.” This led to Women’s Suffrage Movement, which began with changing of individual state laws and eventually brought about voting equality for white women. In 1920, white women succeeded in their battle and the Nineteenth Amendment was ratified. It states that the right to vote shall not be denied on account of sex. One would think that African American…show more content…
Finally, with the ratification of the 24th Amendment in 1964, the right to vote could not be determined by the ability to pay poll taxes. This was a major advancement for Black voters, as taxes were often used to deny them the right to vote, despite it being a right outlined in the Fifthteenth Amendment. Historically, African Americans were not taught to read and write, and slave children were denied access to education. In a similar manner, women were not well educated as it wasn’t needed to carry out their duties at home. As a result, tests were used to deny Blacks and women from voting at polls. Shortly following this decision, the Voting Rights Act of 1965 was approved, which enforced the Fifthteenth Amendment. This was accomplished by making poll taxes illegal in federal elections, banning the use of literacy tests, and establishing federal oversight of voter registration in areas that had less than fifty percent of non-white populations registered. It also specified that voting qualification or requisites cannot be denied on account or race or color and that a person’s ability to read or write cannot deny them the right to vote. Unfortunately, this has not entirely stop discrimination at polls, as many states still have voter ID laws and oftentimes people are forced to take time off work to make it to the polls. This

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