Midway in Liberty County, Georgia — The American South (South Atlantic)
Liberty County Citizen's Council 1946 - 1953
—Museum Of African American History —
The Errosion of the Franchise
With the passage of the 14th and 15th amendments to the U.S. Constitution in 1868 and 1869, African Americans were granted full citizenship and the right to vote. In less than a decade, nearly 100,000 black men had registered to vote in Georgia. Success, however was short-lived.
In 1877 Georgia passed a new state constitution which restricted the franchise by adding a residency requirement and altering the state's poll tax law to make it cumulative. To be eligible to vote after 1877, men had to be a U.S. citizen, at least 21 years of age, and a resident of the state for at least 1 year and of the county for at least 6 months prior to registering. In addition, males between the ages of 21 and 60 had to show proof of having paid their poll tax every year since their 21st birthday (or since 1877 when the law took effect) before they could register.
Black access to the vote continued to erode. Beginning in the mid-1890s, the democratic Party of Georgia prohibited African American men from voting in state primaries. And when legally sanctioned tactics failed to deter black voters, intimidation and violence did. The death toll sounded in 1908 when a state constitutional amendment made it possible for county registrars to arbitrarily apply vaguely-defined
Liberty County Citizen Council
In 1845, Georgia's 1877 state constitution was overturned, eliminating the poll tax. Liberty County's Citizen Council immediately went to work registering voters. In April of 1946, Georgia's white-only primary was overturned by the U.S. Supreme Court in King v. Chapman.
The Liberty county Citizen's Council was formed in 1946.
The Council, held a series of town meetings to discuss strategies for solving local problems. These were true town meetings; everyone had a voice and as a result they often lasted from early evening to long after midnight. One participant recalled that, "Every detail of the meeting [was] known by whites within 12 hours of the meeting."
The immediate goal of the Citizen's Council was to get black citizens registered to vote. In early 1946 the Citizen's Council distributed a flyer entitled, "The $64 Question," that depicted a man down on one knee, asking a woman, "Have you registered to vote?"
The $64 Question
Every Good citizen puts his or her name on the registration list in order to be able to vote for elected officials who make and enforce the laws by which we are governed.
The more citizens who register
You register at the tax receivers office in Hinesville.You don't have to pay a poll tax or other taxes to register.
Begin by courteously telling the tax receiver that you wish to register to vote. Keep calm and an even temper. Give no one an excuse for not registering you. You will have to give your name, address, where you were born, your age, how long you have lived in Georgia and Liberty County. You must be able to read and write. You must sign your name on the registration book.
Erected 2004 by City of Flemington.
Location. 31° 48.044′ N, 81° 27.876′ W. Marker is in Midway, Georgia, in Liberty County. Marker can be reached from East Oglethorpe Highway (U.S. 84) near Lewis Frasier Road. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 8787 East Oglethorpe Highway, Midway GA 31320, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 10 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. New Life For Dorchester Academy 1932-1940 (within shouting distance of this marker); The Growth Of Dorchester Academy 1874 - 1930s (within shouting Elizabeth Moore at Dorchester Academy 1925-1932 (within shouting distance of this marker); Working Together at the Dorchester Cooperative Center 1930s-1940s (within shouting distance of this marker); S.C.L.C. and the Voter Education Program 1962-1970 (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); The Story of the "Bell" at Dorchester Academy (about 300 feet away); Dorchester Academy (about 300 feet away); Dorchester Academy Boy's Dormitory (about 300 feet away); Midway Congregational Church 1872 - Present (about 300 feet away); Civil Liberties at Dorchester Cooperative Center 1940 - present (about 300 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Midway.
More about this marker. Upper right hand corner label reads:
This sign was made possible through the financial support of the City of Flemington with great places to "stay" in Liberty County.
Categories. • African Americans • Civil Rights • Education •
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on July 11, 2008, by Mike Stroud of Bluffton, South Carolina. This page has been viewed 1,600 times since then and 31 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3. submitted on July 11, 2008, by Mike Stroud of Bluffton, South Carolina. 4, 5. submitted on April 15, 2011, by Lee Hattabaugh of Capshaw, Alabama. • Christopher Busta-Peck was the editor who published this page.