Michael R. Clines
Writing II Essay Assignment
The Rise of America to Elect a Black President
From the days of slavery when blacks where considered as 3/5 a person; to the Jim Crow era, where blacks where legally considered to be second class citizens; no one in America or anywhere else in the free world thought they would live to see a Blackman elected as President. The timeline for the rise of blacks in America has long and but significant: The Emancipation Proclamation, which promised freedom to slaves in the Southern states if the Union won the war. The 13th amendment of the U.S. Constitution, ratified in 1865, outlawed slavery in the United States. The Civil Rights Act of 1866 made blacks full U.S. citizens (and this repealed the Dred Scott decision). In 1868, the 14th amendment granted full U.S. citizenship to African-Americans. The 15th amendment, ratified in 1870, extended the right to vote to black males. In 1888 Frederick Douglass was invited to speak at the Republican National Convention. Afterward during the roll call vote, he received one vote, so was nominally a candidate for the presidency. In those years, the candidates for the presidency and vice-presidency were chosen by state representatives voting at the nominating convention. Many decisions were made by negotiations of state and party leaders "behind closed doors." In other words, Douglass was not a serious candidate in contemporary terms. In 1904, George Edwin Taylor, who was president of the National Negro Democratic League, unsuccessfully ran for president. In 1972, Shirley Chisholm was the first African-American major party candidate for president. She was a candidate for the Democratic Party nomination and participated in the Democratic primaries in numerous states. She campaigned in 12 states and won 28 delegates. In 1984 and 1988, Jesse Jackson was the first major party black candidate to run nationwide primary campaigns. He also competed as a Democratic Party...
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