Blacks have historically voted Republican. You read that right. In the mid- to late 1800s, the Republican Party supported the freedom of slaves and eventually the abolition of slavery. Not until the 1930s did the black vote shift slightly to the Democratic ticket. From after the Civil War until President Roosevelt, blacks who could vote voted Republican. Due to the institutional racism of the Confederate states, freed blacks in the South were still prevented from voting by restrictive laws called "black codes." But as desegregation became a major platform issue, the natural response was a shift to the Democratic Party.
By the peak of the civil rights movement, the tides had turned completely, and in 1964 Lyndon B Johnson won the presidency with 94 percent of the black vote, the widest popular margin in American history. The majority of blacks have remained affiliated with the Democratic Party since. Naturally, I had been too.
Growing up, I knew simply that the civil rights movement ...1