130 Black delegates marched towards the Mechanic Institute, the American flag waving behind them. It was within the institute that the Louisiana state legislature had passed the Black Codes, which prevented Black men from voting.
The Black delegates of New Orleans simply weren't having that.
The mayor of New Orleans was John T. Monroe. He had been the mayor prior to the Civil War, and he believed in a Confederate South. As the Black men marched towards the institute, Monroe organized a mob of his own. Ex-Confederates and white supremacists joined him at the building.
When the delegates finally arrived at the Institute, the massacre started. Blood and screams filled the air as the white supremacists shot into the crowd. When the white folk ran out of ammunition, the delegates fought back as hard as they could.
Many died that day, but their death was not in vain. Northerners were so disgusted by the violence, they took over the U.S. Senate in the Congressional elections and passed the Reconstruction Acts of 1867 – which ensured our people could vote.
These delegates fought to take back the power that we deserve. They fought for the right to vote – and we must also protect our ability to shift and change the fabric of America.