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Episode 2: The Failure of the “Great Compromise”

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The right to vote is the right to help define the future of the country. It’s at the heart of our democracy. But for much of US history, only property-owning white men had access to this right. Suffrage for Black men was hard won and enshrined by the 15th amendment after the Civil War. But, even that limited enfranchisement was quickly stymied by campaigns of terror and voter suppression that were then codified by the creation of the Electoral College—amplifying the power of white Southern voters and essentially bringing an end to Reconstruction in 1877. In this episode, host Carvell Wallace explores the history of, and ongoing battle for, total Black enfranchisement in conversation with formerly incarcerated Florida-based voting rights activists Betty Riddle and Marq Mitchell, as well as historian Dr. Yohuru Williams.

For more on what you can do to protect voting rights in the US, visit the ACLU’s resources on Voting Rights.

Additional Resources:

  • DuVernay, Ava, et al. 13th. 2016. Made available on YouTube by Netflix, April 17, 2020.