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Please begin with your NHD outline here.

Imagine- living in a country, couldn’t vote, and the people who can are prejudiced.

African Americans before the Civil Rights Act had to deal with prejudice constantly because of

the color of their skin. The Voting Rights Act of 1965 changed this and allowed African

Americans to vote. The Voting Rights Act of 1965 was a step forward in accomplishing equality

for African Americans. African Americans’ voting rights tragically ended in a gracious triumph

that changed not only African American history but the entirety of South Carolina.

The Voting Rights Act of 1965 was a monumental step in accomplishing equality for

African Americans. African Americans have been discriminated and seen as inferior for

centuries. In recent years before the passing of the Voting Rights Act there were many protest

and activist movements that helped push this act along. Such as the Selma to Montgomery

march, this protest was held to gain voting right for African Americans. Martin Luther King Jr.

participated in the march to help gain these rights, “Martin Luther King, Jr.’s participation in it,

raised awareness of the difficulties faced by black voters, and the need for a national Voting

Rights Act” (HISTORY). This was a passionate subject that all African Americans faced before

the ratification of this act. The march from Selma to Montgomery shows how devoted and

passionate African Americans were about voting. Another activist movement was the march on

Washington and Martin Luther King Jr’s I Have a Dream speech. These were to gain African

American rights such as equal employment. As this article from CNN states, “More than 200,000

people participated in the march to focus attention on civil rights and the need to create a level

playing field for American workers.” This shows that 200,000 people were devoted to this cause.

This march was a nationally televised speech and march. King’s powerful speech gave light of
an America that could happen. These were only a few protest and speeches of many that showed

how African Americans were not equal. King wanted equal rights for African American. These

protest, movements, and speeches helped make way for the Voting Rights Act of 1965.

African Americans were not only repressed but were beaten and were seen as the lowest

class. African Americans were put through social, physical, and emotional harassment for the

color of their skin. There were many examples of this but one of the main ones was the

Birmingham Campaign, the police hosed and beat them for having a peaceful protest. As this

article states, “The next few days’ images of children being hit by high-pressure fire hoses,

clubbed by police officers, and attacked by dogs appeared on television and in newspapers…”

(BlackPast). This quote shows that for this march into downtown Birmingham over 1,000

students got arrested and many more were injured. The police brutality shocked America and

caused an uproar. This brutality showed America how African Americans were being treated and

allowed America a view of what the police were doing to these people, just for having a peaceful

protest for equal rights. This behavior is not the only example of the cruelty that African

Americans faced. Such as the day to day discrimination of African Americans. As this article

states, “Although eyewitnesses saw a carload of whites drive by and shoot into Lee's automobile,

the authorities failed to charge anyone” (Mississippi History Now). This quote shows that whites

were trying to shoot these people and when the authorities were contacted they failed to charge

anyone. Through this, it shows that the authorities did not care enough about these African

Americans to even inspect who would commit this heinous crime. With whites not getting

caught this encourages this behavior shown by showing whites, they can get away with this.

Without the punishment of the police, America could do anything they wanted to African
Americans, but the police would also attack African Americans for protesting. These actions

show the social scale at this time; whites were the superior while African Americans were

perceived as worthless. This caused African Americans to revolt, but not as the whites did but in

a peaceful way. These irrational behaviors caused African Americans to stand up to the social

queue and to demand these rights. After many peaceful protests, speeches, sit-ins, and marches

African Americans finally got their rights. The Civil Rights Act of 1964 granted these rights.

This granted many rights to African Americans but excluded the right to vote.

The Civil Rights Act of 1964 granted many rights to African Americans, but it excluded

several needed things like the right to vote. This right did not come until the following year. In

1965 this right would be granted. As stated in this article, “Signed in August 1965, the act struck

down two methods Southern whites had long employed to keep blacks from voting — literacy

tests and poll taxes” (CFR). This act gave the ability to vote and choose who represented them

without whites trying to stop them. The ability to vote is a crucial right to have. African

Americans were denied the right to vote until the passing of this act. Voting allowed them to

choose who represented them and allowed them to express their political views without being

repressed or denied to vote. The polls after this act were passed many African Americans

registered to vote in the South there was an enormous increase in registration. As this article

states, " In Mississippi alone, voter turnout among blacks increased from 6 percent in 1964 to 59

percent in 1969” (HISTORY). This quote shows that the act was successful. The African

American registration in Mississippi when up 53 percent in the following year of the ratification

of the act. These African Americans were oppressed, and this allowed them to express their

views and choose who represented them. This shows that many African Americans were not
given a chance to vote. Voting is an important right to have and being denied this showed the

condition of America at the time. This act made a huge step for equality to come. This act

inspired change and made way for change in not just the African American community but

America. This act paved the way for more discriminated minorities to come forward and express

their concern for not just for their voting rights but for equality.

The Voting Act of 1965 gave African Americans the right to vote. This act allowed

African Americans to express their political views. The immediate impact of this act was

enormous, and many southern states had many new African American voters. This article states,

“By the end of 1966, only 4 out of the traditional 13 Southern states, had less than 50% of

African Americans registered to vote” (History Learning Site). This quote shows that many new

African Americans were allowed to vote and the significance of this act. This new act allowed

many African Americans to vote as they pleased. Only four out of thirteen states did not have an

increase of fifty percent of new registered African American voters. This is an enormous

increase of new voters. The act was a step forward for equality and let African Americans run for

office successfully. For years to come it would be more coming to see a person of color running

for office. This article states, “For the first time since the end of Reconstruction, blacks voted

and ran successfully for public office” (Richmond). This quote shows that African Americans

were seen as equal. The ability to do this successfully shows that America was growing and

southern states were finally grasping that African Americans are people too. To run for office,

the majority has to be in your favor to win the election; this quote shows that African Americans

were more commonly seen as equals. The Voting Rights Act of 1965 helped to accomplish this

and allowed for oppressed African Americans to run for office, vote, or just be seen as an equal.
The long-term and short-term effects of this act show how America has grown. Through these

protest and the pain of being seen as inferior, African Americans finally got their right to vote.

African Americans were discriminated, beat, and were denied their right to vote. The

Voting Rights Act of 1965 allowed them to vote without whites intervening. Before this African

Americans were discriminated and beat for the color of their skin. There were several Voting

Rights marches, peaceful protest, and more to show America what they wanted. They were met

with violence and the close-minded south. In 1964 the Civil Rights Act was signed giving

African Americans their fundamental rights. The following year the Voting Rights Act of 1965

was signed giving African Americans the right to vote. This new act opened the door for many

African Americans to express themselves. These were a step towards a brighter future, towards

equality. African Americans’ voting rights tragically ended in a gracious triumph that changed

not only African American history but the entirety of South Carolina.