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African American Essay

838 words - 4 pages

Discrimination in voting has been a prevalent issue in the African American community. Before the Voting Rights Act of 1965 poll taxes, literacy tests, and physical intimidation have prevented African Americans from voting. While this problem is widely recognized as an issue of the past it is still made possible through racial gerrymandering. This is an important matter because it has restricted fully entitled American citizens from voting.

In 1870 Congress passed the fifteenth amendment, which gave voting rights to African
Americans. Soon after, states began enforcing expensive poll taxes and extensive literacy tests on African Americans before they could vote. Poll taxes were first ...view middle of the document...

The issue of racial gerrymandering arises when those congressional district lines are unfairly drawn. Racial gerrymandering can be defined as drawing a district to favor or thwart one racial group over others. According to Southerncoalition.org , states such as Florida, Tennessee, and Texas have drawn district lines to set back African American votes.

This disenfranchisement of African Americans in the past and today is an extremely important issue. America was built on the precedent that all men are created equal and the lengths that were made to prevent African Americans citizens from voting was clearly going against this. It is often said that voting is a citizen’s most precious right. Stripping an entire population of their most precious right is immensely important. The Equal Protection Clause of 1868 “provides that no state shall deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws” Literacy tests and high poll taxes where only forced upon black voters, this is a direct violation of the Constitution. Depriving or hindering any citizen of their rights is unconstitutional. The importance of the disadvantages African Americans have faced and are currently facing in voting is critical because every citizen should be able to vote effortlessly. Gerrymandering is an equally important issue. America prides itself on equal rights for the masses while inequality in voting remains unheard. In my opinion, the deprivation and dilution of the African American vote is the most crucial political issue in the African American community.

From 1870 and on , African Americans were citizens with rights and the...

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