Your response should be in essay format with an introduction, body, and conclusion. Be sure to make a central argument and to provide various examples to support your position. Your responses must be a multi-paragraph essay and is worth 25 points.
Question #2 – Discuss the significance of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 and how it changed the course of U.S. History. Your response should be a multi-paragraph essay with an introduction, body, and conclusion. Be sure to make a central argument (thesis) and to provide various examples to support your position.
After the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 the focus on many civil rights organizations shifted from integration to voting rights.
In 1964 hundreds of college students participated in Freedom Summer, an organized effort to register African Americans in Mississippi to vote.
In Selma, Alabama in 1964 there were 15,000 eligible black voters, yet only 335 had been able to register to vote.
In early 1965, nonviolent protesters came to Selma to march from that city to the state capitol in Montgomery. Governor George Wallace sent in state troopers to stop the march and violence ensued.
In response to this violence, Congress passed the Voting Rights Act of 1965, which eliminated various barriers to voter registration–such as literacy tests– used by white southerners to restrict African American voting.
All citizens of the United States who are otherwise qualified by law to vote at any election by the people in any State, Territory, district, county, city, parish, township, school district, municipality, or other territorial subdivision, shall be entitled and allowed to vote at all such elections, without distinction of race, color, or previous condition of servitude; any constitution, law, custom, usage, or regulation of any State or Territory, or by or under its authority, to the contrary notwithstanding.
Voting Rights Act of 1965
In December 1964 the President [Johnson] told me it was impossible to get a voting rights bill, but three months later the same President was on television calling for the passage of a voting rights bill in Congress. The President had said nothing could be done. But we started a movement.
Autobiography of Martin Luther King, Jr., p. 271.