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Race and class in the southern US


The laws that took the vote away from blacks – poll taxes, literacy tests, property qualifications – also often ensured that poor whites would not vote. And the political leaders of the South knew this. At the constitutional convention in Alabama, one of the leaders said he wanted to take away the vote from “all those who are unfit and unqualified, and if the rule strikes a white man as well as a negro let him go.” In North Carolina, the Charlotte Observer saw disenfranchisement as “the struggle of the white people of North Carolina to rid themselves of the dangers of the rule of negroes and the lower class of whites.”

1900. From Howard Zinn’s A People’s History of the United States


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