Black People : Jim Crow Killed Voting Rights for Generations - Now the GOP Is Repeating History!

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OldSoul

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Jim Crow Killed Voting Rights for Generations. Now the GOP Is Repeating History.​

More than a century later, another generation of Black lawmakers is battling a familiar enemy.​

On September 3, 1868, Henry McNeal Turner rose to speak in the Georgia House of Representatives to fight for his political survival. He was one of 33 new Black state legislators elected that year in Georgia, a revolutionary change in the South after 250 years of slavery. Eight hundred thousand new Black voters had been registered across the region, and the share of Black male Southerners who were eligible to vote skyrocketed from 0.5 percent in 1866 to 80.5 percent two years later.
These Black legislators had helped to write a new state constitution guaranteeing voting rights for former slaves and leading Georgia back into the Union. Yet just two months after the 14th Amendment granted full citizenship rights to Black Americans, Georgia’s white-dominated legislature introduced a bill to expel the Black lawmakers, arguing that the state’s constitution protected their right to vote but not to hold office. “You bring both Congress and the Republican Party into odium in this state,” said Joseph E. Brown, who had served as governor during the Confederacy years, when “you confer upon the Negroes the right to hold office…in their present condition.”
...The legislature voted to expel the Black lawmakers, who weren’t even allowed to participate in the vote. “The sacred rights of my race,” said Turner, were “destroyed at one blow.” Soon he was getting death threats from the Ku Klux Klan. “We should neither be seized with astonishment or regret” if he were to be lynched, editorialized the Weekly Sun of Columbus, Georgia. Two weeks later, one of the ousted Black legislators, Philip Joiner, led a march to the small town of Camilla in southwest Georgia, where white residents opened fire, killing a dozen or more of the mostly Black marchers.
And so Reconstruction all but ended in Georgia almost as soon as it began.

 

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