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Voting & Voting Rights: Civil Rights Movement

A guide to resources on voting including voter registration and election information. This information is non-partisan, focusing on voting rights and citizenship.


The Jim Crow South brought heavy obstacles to African Americans. As a result, the creation of organizations such as the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), Southern Regional Council (SRC), Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC), Congress of Racial Equality (CORE) and the National Urban Leagues worked both independently and collaboratively to ensure the rights of African American citizens were protected.

Selected Archival Items

Fryerson, Henry. "Will He Lose His Vote?" The Worker Magazine, October 27, 1946.
Pamphlet, Virginia Voters League, June 1946.
Dr. Bacote and Voters at Voting Site, Clarence Bacote Collection, ca. 1958

Selected Readings

Supplemental Questions

  1. Compare and contrast the political progress of African Americans during Reconstruction era and post-Obama era as it pertains to voting Rights and representation in elected office.
  2. Looking forward, what is the biggest legislative hurdle facing African Americans and other minorities today; what legislation would –if you could write and why?
  3. In 1965 the Voting Rights Act outlawed poll taxes and literacy test that sought to disenfranchise African American and minority votes. What are some modern day hurdles minority voters face today and how can they overcome these obstacles?
  4. For years Get out and Vote Campaigns consisted of door to door canvasing, printed mailers, voter registration drives, and most recently social media ads. Many of these practices are still used today. Are they still effective? Why are Why not? If not, how can these methods be innovative in order to increase the effort to mobilize voters?
  5. What do you hope to change by voting?
  6. Does the past struggle for voting rights, mandate that you exercise the right yourself. Is not voting disrespectful to this legacy. Why or why not?