The Vote

Freedom through The Vote

The Fifteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution, passed by the 40th Congress on December 7th, 1868 and subsequently ratified on February 3rd, 1870, guaranteed African American men the right to vote.

Section 1. 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.

Decades of suffrage in Orange County and throughout the South and nation led to the passage of the 1965 Voter Rights Act, and restoring the right to vote to African-American men and women.

CIVIL RIGHTS ACT (1964), Public Law 88-352  

Approved July 2, 1964  

To enforce the constitutional right to vote, to confer jurisdiction upon the district courts of the United States to provide injunctive relief against discrimination in public accommodations, to authorize the Attorney General to institute suits to protect constitutional rights in public facilities and public education…

Through the power of the vote, people of color have proclaimed their freedom, and they have won elections to public office to protect the freedom of all.

Decades of suffrage in the South, as well as throughout the United States, led to the 1965 Voting Rights Act, which restored the right to vote to African Americans. Through the power of the vote, people of color have a voice and have won elections to public offices–locally, statewide and nationally.