Ric Sheffield is Professor Emeritus of Legal Studies and Sociology at Kenyon College. In addition to having served as Associate Provost of the College, he is the Director of Kenyon’s Law & Society Program and the John Adams Summer Scholars Program in Socio-legal Studies. His research has focused upon the relationship between law and issues of gender, race, and ethnicity. He has lectured widely on issued of race and law as well as African Americans in rural Ohio.
A History of Race and the Right to Vote in Reconstruction Ohio*
The right to vote, long hailed as the embodiment, sine qua non, of liberty in American society has special historical significance for persons of African descent in the United States and Ohio, in particular. It was the quest for this quintessential right of citizenship, perhaps even more so than ethereal notions of equality generally, that undergirds some of the most significant episodes in the annals of America’s civil rights struggle. In weighing the often-dire consequences of resistance against the potential gains thought to reside in the elective franchise, Black Americans, even in Ohio, literally risked life, limb, and livelihood to claim their places at the polls.
*Please note: this talk is only available in a virtual format.
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