#VoiceYourVote: The History of African Americans and the Vote
An exhibit highlighting Archives Research Center Resources
Since obtaining the right to vote in 1870, African Americans have fought to make their voices heard. African Americans have encountered voter suppression in the form of poll taxes, literacy tests, and intimidation tactics, in their fight for enfranchisement. The Voting Rights Act of 1965 helped to dismember legal barriers to voting. But even now, voter suppression affects African Americans. The #VoiceYourVote exhibit highlights the struggles and accomplishments of African Americans and their work to voice their vote.
The materials in the exhibit showcase collections held in the Archives Research Center and include the Voter Education Project Organizational Records, Maynard Jackson Mayoral Administrative Records, Clarence Bacote Papers, John H. Wheeler Collection, Grace Towns Hamilton Papers, Political Posters Collection, and the SNCC Vertical File.
#VoiceYourVote chronicles the history of African Americans and their right to vote beginning in the Reconstruction Era and the passing of the 14th amendment, which led to the election of the first African Americans in the United States Congress. The exhibit continues into the Jim Crow South era and contains materials related to early voter registration drives and voter education programs that aided African Americans in their fight for full civil rights. As you move throughout the exhibit, the story of African Americans and the vote unfolds. The first case displays items related to the early years of voting for African Americans from 1870 to 1950s, highlighting the first African American men in the U.S. Congress and early voter registration drive efforts. The second case features pamphlets, newsletters, flyers, and posters about voting and the importance of voter education and registration drives. #VoiceYourVote continues the story with the Voting Rights Act of 1965 and the struggle to pass legislation through Congress and concludes with a tribute to Black political figures and elected officials in the state of Georgia. The exhibit culminates with a salute to Barack Obama, the first African American President of the United Sates, an event that would not have been possible without the activism from the last century outlined in this exhibit.
Share with others! #VoiceYourVote #VotingExhibit #StudentVote18
Items on display are from the AUC Woodruff Library’s Archives Research Center (ARC) and may be viewed in the ARC Reading Room located on the library’s upper level. Visit www.auctr.edu for more information on collections, or to schedule an appointment in the Archives.
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