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Voting Then, Voting Now


From the American Revolution to the Civil Rights movement to the recent establishment of democracy in South Africa and Eastern Europe, citizens across the globe have long struggled for the right to vote. Upon earning such rights, voters have turned out en masse.

Such was the case during the Reconstruction era in the American South, when African-American males (it would be years before women of any background could vote) proudly and enthusiastically exercised the right to vote. Yet as Reconstruction gave way to Jim Crow, the right to vote all but vanished.

What was the voting experience like for African Americans in the Jim Crow era? Is voting valued today as it once was?

This section explores the right to vote and assert one's political preferences, which was and still is one of the most basic forms of expression.


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