Go Vote

Here is a bit of history from the MY Village Project Program History Section.  It is being published to be informative inspiring and entertaining.  Don’t take it Too Seriously, Just Go Vote.  You have the privilege power and responsibility to vote. Go Vote.

Voting

Blacks were denied the right to vote by grandfather clauses (laws that restricted the right to vote to

people whose ancestors had voted before the Civil War), poll taxes (fees charged to poor blacks),

white primaries (only Democrats could vote, only whites could be Democrats), and literacy tests

(“Name all the Vice Presidents and Supreme Court Justices throughout America’s history”). Plessy

sent this message to southern and border states: Discrimination against blacks is acceptable.

Other Regulations and Resrictions

Jim Crow states passed statutes severely regulating social interactions between the races. Jim Crow

signs were placed above water fountains, door entrances and exits, and in front of public facilities.

There were separate hospitals for blacks and whites, separate prisons, separate public and private

schools, separate churches, separate cemeteries, separate public restrooms, and separate public

accommodations. In most instances, the black facilities were grossly inferior — generally, older,

less-well-kept. In other cases, there were no black facilities — no Colored public restroom, no public

beach, no place to sit or eat. Plessy gave Jim Crow states a legal way to ignore their constitutional

obligations to their black citizens.

Jim Crow laws touched every aspect of everyday life. For example, in 1935, Oklahoma prohibited

blacks and whites from boating together. Boating implied social equality. In 1905, Georgia

established separate parks for blacks and whites. In 1930, Birmingham, Alabama, made it illegal for

blacks and whites to play checkers or dominoes together.

Here are some of the typical Jim Crow laws, as compiled by the Martin Luther King, Jr., National

Historic Site Interpretive Staff:

Barbers. No colored barber shall serve as a barber (to) white girls or women (Georgia).

Blind Wards. The board of trustees shall…maintain a separate building…on separate ground

for the admission, care, instruction, and support of all blind persons of the colored or black

race (Louisiana).

Burial. The officer in charge shall not bury, or allow to be buried, any colored persons upon

ground set apart or used for the burial of white persons (Georgia).

Buses. All passenger stations in this state operated by any motor transportation company

shall have separate waiting rooms or space and separate ticket windows for the white and

colored races (Alabama).

Child Custody. It shall be unlawful for any parent, relative, or other white person in this

State, having the control or custody of any white child, by right of guardianship, natural or

acquired, or otherwise, to dispose of, give or surrender such white child permanently into the

custody, control, maintenance, or support, of a negro (South Carolina).

Education. The schools for white children and the schools for negro children shall be

conducted separately (Florida).

Libraries. The state librarian is directed to fit up and maintain a separate place for the use of

the colored people who may come to the library for the purpose of reading books or

periodicals (North Carolina).

Mental Hospitals. The Board of Control shall see that proper and distinct apartments are

arranged for said patients, so that in no case shall Negroes and white persons be together

(Georgia).

Militia. The white and colored militia shall be separately enrolled, and shall never be

compelled to serve in the same organization. No organization of colored troops shall be

permitted where white troops are available and where whites are permitted to be organized,

colored troops shall be under the command of white officers (North Carolina).

Nurses. No person or corporation shall require any White female nurse to nurse in wards or

rooms in hospitals, either public or private, in which negro men are placed (Alabama).

Prisons. The warden shall see that the white convicts shall have separate apartments for both

eating and sleeping from the negro convicts (Mississippi).

Reform Schools. The children of white and colored races committed to the houses of reform

shall be kept entirely separate from each other (Kentucky).

Teaching. Any instructor who shall teach in any school, college or institution where

members of the white and colored race are received and enrolled as pupils for instruction

shall be deemed guilty of a misdemeanor, and upon conviction thereof, shall be fined…

(Oklahoma).

Wine and Beer. All persons licensed to conduct the business of selling beer or wine…shall

serve either white people exclusively or colored people exclusively and shall not sell to the

two races within the same room at any time (Georgia).1

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