Ben Tillman

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  • We have to limit the ability for African Americans to vote with the Constitution of 1895 and The Grandfather Clause!
  • We must make segregation legal and with the Jim Crow Laws.
  • And we can make this happen with the Supreme Court case of Plessy vs. Ferguson and the ruling of "separate but equal".
  • The Constitution of 1895 required a literacy test for voting by requiring African Americans and poor whites to be able to understand the US Constitution. It also required the poll tax to be paid six months before the election. Poor, illiterate whites were protected by the "grandfather clause" so that they had a better chance of voting. The "grandfather clause" let the whites vote if their grandfathers had been able to vote before 1860. This decreased the chance of African Americans to vote.
  • The new constitution required separate schools for black and white children. This new law of segregation of schools became known as the infamous Jim Crow Laws.
  • In 1896, the Supreme Court ruled the case of Plessy v Ferguson, as "separate-but-equal".  As a result, Jim Crow laws affected every aspect of the African American's life for the next sixty years.  Although African Americans protested, they were faced with violence, intimidation and lynchings by white terrorists, which silenced their voice in public life. 
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