Black History Month | Coppin State University

Black History Month

Black History Month 2020

African Americans and the Vote

The year 2020 marks the centennial of the Nineteenth Amendment and the culmination of the women’s suffrage movement. The year 2020 also marks the sesquicentennial of the Fifteenth Amendment (1870) and the right of black men to the ballot after the Civil War. The theme speaks, therefore, to the ongoing struggle on the part of both black men and black women for the right to vote. This theme has a rich and long history, which begins at the turn of the nineteenth century, i.e., in the era of the Early Republic, with the states’ passage of laws that democratized the vote for white men while disfranchising free black men. Thus, even before the Civil War, black men petitioned their legislatures and the US Congress, seeking to be recognized as voters. Tensions between abolitionists and women’s suffragists first surfaced in the aftermath of the Civil War, while black disfranchisement laws in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries undermined the guarantees in the Fourteenth and Fifteenth Amendments for the great majority of southern blacks until the Voting Rights Act of 1965. The important contribution of black suffragists occurred not only within the larger women’s movement, but within the larger black voting rights movement. Through voting-rights campaigns and legal suits from the turn of the twentieth century to the mid-1960s, African Americans made their voices heard as to the importance of the vote. Indeed the fight for black voting rights continues in the courts today. The theme of the vote should also include the rise of black elected and appointed officials at the local and national levels, campaigns for equal rights legislation, as well as the role of blacks in traditional and alternative political parties.

- Association for the Study of African American Life and History Theme 2020


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Calendar of Events

Activities are co-sponsored by the Academic Affairs Division and the Division of Enrollment Management and Student Affairs in conjunction with the African American History Month Committee.

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A look Back

Trip to Washington, D.C.

Students visit the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History & Culture

Harriet Film & Discussion

Students and staff share their thoughts after viewing the film

13th Film Presentation

Students attend a viewing and discussion of Ava DuVernay's documentary "13th"

Census 2020

Representatives from the 2020 Census delivered a presentation to the campus

Census 2020

Students from the Alpha Lambda Delta Honor Society host an encore presentation of the film 13th.

Dr. Carter G. Woodson Lecture

Dr. Joshua K. Wright, Associate Professor at Trinity Washington University, delivered the 23rd annual Dr. Carter G. Woodson Lecture.

Women's Suffrage and Voting Rights

Gloria J. Browne-Marshall, Professor of Constitutional Law at John Jay College of Criminal Justice, delivers the presentation.