In 1867, African-American males were granted the right to vote in Washington, D.C. Congress overrode a bill vetoed by Andrew Johnson that would have granted all male citizens of the District of Columbia the right to vote. It became law, becoming the first law in the U.S. history to give black men the right to vote. The law stated that men aged 21 years of age or older has the right to vote, except welfare or charity recipients, those under guardianship, men convicted of major crimes, or men who voluntarily sheltered Confederate troops or spies during the Civil War. The bill was vetoed was overriden by Andrew Johnson on January 5, but it was overriden with a vote of 29 to 10 in the Senate, 112-28 in the House of Representatives.
On January 8th 1912, chiefs, representatives of people’s and church organisations, and other prominent individuals gathered in Bloemfontein and formed the African National Congress. The ANC declared its aim to bring all Africans together as one people to defend their rights and freedoms.