Race and the Limits of American Democracy: African Americans from the Fall of Reconstruction to the Rise of the Ghetto

Frank L Samson

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

One hundred years after the Civil War's end, the passage of the 1965 Voting Rights Act overcame the final institutional barriers blocking the African American franchise, the bedrock of citizenship. The Voting Rights Act and the previous year's passage of the Civil Rights Act symbolized a legislative triumph for the popular movements and visionary ideals whose origins long preceded the decade of organized protest and mass mobilizations leading up to these concessions. Just a quarter century earlier, the United States joined a world war proudly unfurling its democratic banner, while a significant portion of the American population wrestled with the consequences of its political disfranchisement, economic marginalization, and social exclusion. Despite the United States' self-image as a champion of democracy upon its entry into WWII, the African American struggle to build livelihoods, institutions, and communities following the Radical Reconstruction's 1877 demise chronicles the tangled tale of America's often tragically flawed democratic experiment.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Oxford Handbook of African American Citizenship, 1865-Present
PublisherOxford University Press
ISBN (Print)9780199940974, 9780195188059
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 18 2012

Keywords

  • African Americans
  • American democracy
  • Citizenship
  • Democracy
  • Race
  • Reconstruction

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Sciences(all)

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    Samson, F. L. (2012). Race and the Limits of American Democracy: African Americans from the Fall of Reconstruction to the Rise of the Ghetto. In The Oxford Handbook of African American Citizenship, 1865-Present Oxford University Press. https://doi.org/10.1093/oxfordhb/9780195188059.013.0003