Illegal and Legal Disenfranchisement (1877-1954)
Between 1877 and 1954, systematic forms of discrimination prevented African Americans from voting, especially in the south. As the responsibility of protecting voting rights transferred to the states, many states actively and violently prevented African Americans from voting. As a result, African American voter turnout plummeted from ane stimated 60-85% during Reconstruction to less than 10% in the early 1900s. However, efforts were underway to pave the way for the civil rights movement in the 1950s and 1960s.
Setting the Stage
This time period was marked by Jim Crow Laws and “separate but equal' treatment of African Americans in the United States, meaning African Americans were told they would have equal access, just in seperate places. Despite such promises, African American were still subjected to discriminatory practices. The "seperate" facilities African Americans were forced to occupy were not equal to areas designated to white people.