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Tuesday, December 29, 2020

NJ Employment Attorney, Historical Racism Part IX, Attempts to Register Black Voters in the 1960's

The Black Civil Rights Movement to end segregation started in the 1950's. NAACP activist Rosa Parks was a  major catalyst when in December 1955, she refused to give up her seat on a public bus to a white man. This Movement continued into the 1960's and began garnering national attention with the 1961 Freedom Riders. To listen to Philip Randolph's stirring and famous speech on the August 28, 1963 March on Washington, click here; “We are the advanced guard of a massive, moral revolution for jobs and freedom. This revolution reverberates throughout the land touching every city, every town, every village where black men are segregated, oppressed and exploited.”

This movement gained momentum as to Black voting rights in the 1964 Freedom summer which focused on increasing black votes by registering black voters.

Violent Resistance Against Persons Attempting  to Register Black Voters

The first group of volunteers trained to register black voters and teach literacy and civics at Freedom Schools in 1964 participated in the Mississippi Summer Project. Volunteers were not prepared for the intensity of the violent brutal reactions against them for their valiant attempts to register black voters.

Three civil rights workers, James Chaney, a black Mississippian, and two white northerners, Michael Schwerner and Andrew Goodman, were active in the Project and they disappeared in Mississippi just one week after the first group of volunteers arrived in Mississippi. An FBI investigation supplemented by other law enforcement, found their murdered corpses buried in an earthen dam. More detail is provided as to these three slain civil rights workers in the March 4, 2020 article.

Less than 10% of Blacks Who Attempted to Vote in 1964 in Mississippi Were Allowed to Register.

The foundation of the Mississippi Summer Project purpose was to increase black voter registration. More than 90 percent of blacks who attempted to vote in Mississippi in 1964 were not allowed to do so. 

Although approximately 17,000 black persons residing in Mississippi attempted to register to vote in the summer of 1964, only 1,600 of the completed applications were accepted by local registrars.

TV and newspaper coverage of the severe beatings and  murders of civil rights activists attempting to increase black voter registration increased public awareness which helped to pass the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the later Voting Rights Act of 1965. The Civil Rights Act of 1964 made it illegal to segregate by race. It states:

“All persons shall be entitled to the full and equal enjoyment of the goods, services, facilities, and privileges, advantages, and accommodations of any place of public accommodation, as defined in this section, without discrimination or segregation on the ground of race, color, religion, or national origin.”

The following year on Aug. 6, 1965, the Voting Rights Act banned literacy tests and other barriers to Black voting. The self-less efforts of the volunteers of the Freedom Summer and thousands of peaceful protestors who encountered violence, beatings, arrest and sometimes death as a result of their non-violent demonstrations to end black voter discrimination, received  widespread media coverage increased public awareness of the violent resistance they encountered and gave impetus to the passage of the Voting Rights Act of 1965.

What You Can Do

I am an aggressive and compassionate employment law attorney who is experienced in successfully representing persons who were subjected to racial harassment and retaliation in the workplace and/or were fired. If you have experienced racism at work, or if you reported it and no action was taken, if you are thinking of resigning, or think you will be fired, or have been fired, it is important that you consult with an attorney who is experienced in discrimination.

If you are being subjected to workplace discrimination, contact Hope A. Lang, Attorney at Law today for a free consultation.

Hope A. Lang, Attorney at Law serves clients throughout New Jersey, including Bergen, Middlesex, Essex, Hudson, Monmouth, Ocean, Union, Camden, Passaic, and Morris Counties with locations in southern, central, western and northern NJ to meet with clients.



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