Toward the end of the 1890s a younger group assumed the leadership of the Democratic Party, drew up a broad platform designed to attract people of all classes, and waged a campaign exploiting the race issue. The Democrats gained control of the legislature in 1898, and in 1900, with Charles Brantley Aycock as their nominee, won the governorship on a platform of education and white supremacy. In the same election, the voters approved a constitutional amendment mandating a literacy test that Aycock promised would remove blacks temporarily from politics; eventually, he contended, universal education would lead to universal suffrage. Blacks were indeed a disproportionately small minority of North Carolina voters from 1900 to the 1960s.
In the last part of the 19th century, as throughout the South, racial segregation was instituted in North Carolina through laws providing separate public facilities for whites and blacks. Blacks had to live in a different part of town, go to separate schools, eat at separate restaurants, and use different laundries, restrooms, and even drinking fountains. The facilities provided for blacks were never as good as those provided for whites. Segregation became a basic rule in Southern society, helping to ensure that blacks would not present a serious challenge to the social order. "North Carolina" © Emmanuel BUCHOT, Encarta, Wikipedia
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