Black Suffrage – A History of African American Voting Rights

Suffrage, in a democratic system of government, is the right to vote and actively participate in the election of political representatives and other public officials. It may also extend to include the right to reject legislation. Universal political suffrage in the United States, or political franchise, has been a gradual process of the extension of voting rights from privileged groups such as white male Americans to the entire adult population. In many parts of the world, exclusion from the voting process has often been based on factors such as race, gender, religion, social class, residency, criminality, and literacy among many

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The American Civil Rights Movement

The Black Lives Matter movement has been successful in bringing the injustice and discrimination faced by African Americans to the forefront of American politics and discussions. Critics, however, argue that the movement is violent and misguided, and some say that there is no need for such a movement today. While it is true that African Americans and people of different races, ethnic backgrounds and even sexual orientations enjoy more liberties and rights than ever before, there is still a lot of room for improvement. Also, it is important to acknowledge that the freedoms enjoyed today by non-white Americans can, largely,

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The Importance Of Social Justice

We are living in an era of contradictions. While we should focus on building a unified approach towards fighting a global pandemic, we are more divided than ever. We are more connected than ever before in human history, yet are unable to understand the plight of others. We see an evolution of human rights, but see no end to conflict. We are more willing to accept differences, yet discrimination is on the rise. We are living in an era where we have greater freedoms than ever before, yet we see no end to injustice. So where do we go from

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Black Lives Matter: Why It Matters

Racial and ethnic differences have been a recurring theme in many conflicts in different parts of the world. While it is the 21st century and the situation is, arguably, better than at any other point in history, we only need to turn on the television or look at different social media platforms to come across the realization that race and ethnicity based problems are far from over. So why are these problems being highlighted in the United States? Perhaps the reason is that the existence of racial discrimination and injustice contradicts the core values of the United States as a

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Prominent Women In African American History

African Americans today are pop culture icons, leaders, pioneers, inventors, entrepreneurs, doctors, and judges, and so much more. However, this wasn’t always possible. There was a time that personal and professional opportunities were scarce for African Americans – even more so for African American women. From fighting against slavery to fighting for voting and civil rights, from fighting against racism to overcoming the odds and achieving unparalleled fame and success; African American have done it all. Countless Black women have left their mark on American history. It would be difficult to include every Black woman that has contributed to the

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A History Of Racial Inequality In The United States

Racial equality is the concept or ideology that individuals or groups of people have the same moral, political and legal rights and social value irrespective of their racial characteristics. It is the belief that different racial groups should be treated equally and that no one race is inherently superior or inferior to another. It also implies that all social, educational, economic, legal or political institutions need to provide equal opportunities and support to everyone regardless of their racial characteristics such as skin color or facial features. However, racial equality has a complicated history. While some parts of the world have

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Fannie Lou Hamer – Life And Legacy

Early Life and Education Fannie Lou Hamer was born Fann Lou Townsend on 6th October 1917 to Ella and James Lee Townsend. Her parents were sharecroppers from Montgomery County, Mississippi who moved to Sunflower County, Mississippi to work on W.D Marlow’s plantation. Sharecropping involves leasing agricultural land to a tenant in return for a share of the profits. As a majority of African Americans did not own any land, a lot of Black Americans were involved in sharecropping to make ends meet. It was an affordable option in an era when employment and economics opportunities were limited for the Black

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The Life And Achievements Of Mary Church Terrell

Mary Church Terrell, born in 1863, was the daughter of Robert Reed Church and Louisa Ayers and had mixed racial ancestry. While both her parents were freed slaves, her father went on to become one of the first African American millionaires in the south and also founded the first Black owned bank in Memphis, Tennessee. Through his bank, he extended credit to Black Americans so they could establish businesses, buy homes and lead better lives. He also used his wealth to develop parks, auditoriums and other facilities for the African American community. Her parents were prominent members of the Black

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Women’s Rights Movements – The Activists That Made A Difference

Women today, in many parts of the world, can own property, wear what they want, vote or run for office and, in general, enjoy greater freedoms than any other time in history. But the struggle for equality, choice and safety is far from over. There are still many places in the world where women are denied even the most basic of rights. While the west appears to be decades ahead of some of the other parts of the world in terms of women’s rights, women still face social and professional discrimination. Women are still subjected to harassment, sexual assault and

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Organized Anti-Poverty Meeting With National Council Of Negro Women

On this day, June 27, 1967, Mrs. Hamer had organized a meeting with the National Council of Negro Women to fight poverty.  The Office of Economic Opportunity, a federal program, would provide a grant for the meeting to be held in Mississippi, if it was given approval by the governor of the state.  As Mrs. Hamer was associated with this meeting, and already considered “menace to society”, then-governor Paul Johnson vetoed the grant.  Undeterred, local coalitions were able to pull their resources and have the meetings go on anyway.  Luminaries like Dorothy Height lead group meetings, giving the women the

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