How Laws Suppressed the Black Vote

Niara Savage SAVE THIS

An elderly African American man holds his “I voted” sticker after he cast his ballot in Washington, DC. (

Black voting rights have remained under attack for nearly 150 years, restricting democracy and restraining Black progress. Although Black voters have consistently challenged the system and its restrictive laws, the Black vote continues to be undermined by pervasive practices that curb fair political representation. While Black people were blatantly denied the right to vote for decades, even after their legal rights were established, Black Americans today remain disproportionately impacted by voter suppression.

While the Voting Rights Act of 1965 remedied some of the problems faced by Black voters, the targeted suppression of the Black vote persisted long after. In the 1990s, 150,000 postcards warning voters of the consequences of voter fraud were sent to predominantly Black precincts in North Carolina and omitted information about how people who had…

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