- History & Culture
Voter suppression has haunted America since it was founded
Ever since the Constitution was written, some of the nation's leaders have sought to deny the vote to those who might wrest their power away.
On August 12, 1890, more than a hundred men gathered in the Mississippi state capital for a constitutional convention. In his opening speech, Judge Solomon Saladin Calhoon, president of the convention, charged the delegates with a single task: devise a way to keep Black men from voting in Mississippi.
“This ballot system must be so arranged as to effect one object,” he said. Twenty years after the passage of the 14th and 15th Amendments granted Black Americans citizenship and gave Black men the right to vote, “we find the two races now together, the rule of one of which has always meant economic and moral ruin; we find another race whose rule has always meant prosperity and happiness, and prosperity