Coercion was not reserved solely for organizers and thinking men. It became a tool to control the suffrage of ordinary Black voters, who were menaced with death or beating if they did not “vote right”. Not protected by the U.S. Army, or by state or local militia after 1877, Black voters faced a choice between personal and chattel security on the one hand, and elective autonomy on the other, their lives and livelihoods held ransom for their votes. Lacking any other recourse, Blacks had to think first of insuring their own survival.
- P.133, Exodusters – Nell Irvin Painter, ISBN 0-393-00951-3