This video from The African Americans: Many Rivers to Cross examines the political context of the African Americans’ struggle for the right to vote and Americans’ responses to the passing of the 15th Amendment.
What were the political debates surrounding African Americans voting rights?
The 15th Amendment, passed by Congress on February 26, 1869, granted African American men the right to vote. How did this affect the African American community during Reconstruction? How effective was this amendment in practice?
What caused the series of violent acts against African Americans that occurred in the early Reconstruction era? What does that tell you about the status of African Americans during this time?
Before viewing the video segment, have students independently read the 15th Amendment. Image of document and printed transcript available here.
Have a class discussion on the impact of voting rights and what it means when a group of people are given the right to vote.
Have students watch the video "Resenting Prosperity and Equality" from The African Americans: Many Rivers to Cross and compare the two segments. Ask students to idenitfy themes or patterns that connect the two periods of African American history.