Ratified on Feb. 3, 1870, the 15th Amendment to the United States Constitution officially granted African American men the right to vote by declaring that the “right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any state on account of race, color, or previous condition of servitude.”
However, the promise of the 15th Amendment was blocked for almost a century through the use of poll taxes, literacy tests and other means — and more recently by voter ID laws.
Learn about all the anniversaries leading up to February 3 and those beyond from this detailed tweet thread by historian Stephen West.
The spring of 2020 will mark the 150th anniversary of the 15th Amendment. Over the next year, I’ll note some events along the way to its ratification.#otd in 1869, the House passed its 1st version of the 15A, authored by George Boutwell of Massachusetts. The vote was 150-42. pic.twitter.com/VqRh8pm2di
— Stephen West (@Stephen_A_West) January 30, 2019
Learn more in the Zinn Education Project national report, “Erasing the Black Freedom Struggle: How State Standards Fail to Teach the Truth About Reconstruction,” and find teaching resources on Reconstruction below.