This is part of my series, "Wow, I didn't know that."
I grew up believing the Democratic party was the group always there for the AA people. Did you know it hasn't been that many years since African Americans, stopped supporting the Republican Party and tied it's vote to the Democrats? Did you know the Republican party used to be known as the anti-slave party?
Democratic resistance to the Republican efforts to protect the civil rights of all Americans lasted into the 20th century. In the South, those Democrats who most bitterly opposed equality for blacks founded the Ku Klux Klan, which operated as the party’s terrorist wing.
From 1890 to 1908, the white Democratic legislatures in every Southern state enacted new constitutions or amendments with provisions to disenfranchise most blacks and tens of thousands of poor whites. Provisions required complicated processes for poll taxes, residency, literacy tests, and other requirements which targeted the Blacks and basically stole our ability to vote.. When the Blacks began losing their right to vote, the Republican Party lost its ability to effectively compete.There was a dramatic drop in voter turnout as these measures took effect, a drop in participation that continued across the South.
The South became solidly white Democratic until past the middle of the 20th century. Pretty much 30 years. Effectively, Southern white Democrats controlled all the votes of the expanded population. Many of their representatives achieved powerful positions of seniority in Congress, giving them control of chairmanships of Congressional committees. Because African Americans could not be voters, they were prevented from being jurors and serving in local offices. Once things changed, desegregation hit the road ways, the Democrats had to really rethink their actions. As they began to accept the African Americans, their members who were still strongly prejudiced move over to the Republican party.
When John F. Kennedy showed his agreement with the Martin Luther King and the Civil Rights Movement, it was like a flood gate and African Americans flocked and embraced the democrat part.
The party's dramatic reversal on civil rights issues culminated when Democratic President Lyndon B. Johnson signed into law the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
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