Robert Smalls Speech on Disfranchising Black People

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The author wrote this document in an error of racism, and the black American people were highly disfranchised. The message of Robert Smalls is that racism should end and that fairness should be advocated for the goodness of the people of the United States. The article was printed in the Columbia state in 1895.

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At this time, most of the Jim Crow laws had been passed, and they disfranchised black men. According to Billingsley, (2007). Robert speaks for the black men because he was a victim too despite being a leader. Was what he did matter a lot because the voice of African-American was powerless? However, the democracy enjoyed by the American people now is because of people like him, even though his message was ignored that time.

The author is a black American who was a slave in that era when people from Africa were being taken as slaves in America. He was the first black person to be elected as a Republican in South Carolina. Smalls uses his smallest power vested in him to pass on a message to all the white Americans who practice racism by oppressing the blacks (Gallagher & Lippard, 2014). He argues that disfranchising the black people in the south will have impacts on the nation’s economy and the low illiterate white people as well. Additionally, he urges legislators to consider fairness when amending the constitution and some factors like literacy test, voting restrictions and property requirements.

It is quite remarkable to note that this speech that Robert Smalls gave was not only for the white people but the whole American fraternity, he wanted unity, equality, and fairness for all the races. In context to what is happening today in South Carolina State, racial disparity is still practiced. A wide gap exists between the black and white people. Extreme poverty states can be observed much in the blacks compared to the whites.


In Gallagher, C. A., & In Lippard, C. D. (2014). Race and racism in the United States: An encyclopedia of the American mosaic.

Billingsley, A. (2007). Yearning to breathe free: Robert Smalls of South Carolina and his families. Columbia: University of South Carolina Press.

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