On October 31, 1865 Ezekiel Gillespie, a black Milwaukee resident, asked that his name be added to the list of eligible voters. He was refused. The next day he went to the polls to vote. He was denied. Historians have noted Wisconsinites’ defiance of the 1850 Fugitive Slave Law and highlighted the Republican Party’s commitment to black suffrage. Wisconsin Republicans were among the most progressive in the country. Yet, the efforts of antislavery and abolitionist Wisconsinites failed to alter the political marginality that black Wisconsinites faced in the founding decades of the state. Dr. Christy Clark-Pujara, Professor of History in the Dept. of Afro-American Studies at UW-Madison, presents the history of black male disenfranchisement during the first years of our statehood.
No registration required.
A UW Speakers Bureau presentation.
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