There were several methods used by the southern states to keep African Americans from voting. One method that was used was the poll tax. The poll tax required a person to pay a fee in order to vote. Since many African Americans were poor, they could not afford to pay the tax. As a result, they did not vote.
Another method that was used was the literacy test. The literacy test required a person to read and explain a part of the Constitution. Since many African Americans had limited education, many African Americans could not pass the test in order to vote.
The grandfather clause was used to exempt poor, uneducated white southerners from these requirements. If a person’s father or grandfather had voted before the Civil War, a person was exempted from these requirements. Most African American males were not voting before the Civil War.
Some states developed something which was called "the white primary." This was a way to get around the 15th Amendment. Laws were passed that declared the political parties to be private organizations. African Americans were excluded from joining these private political parties. This prevented those African Americans who could vote from having much of a say in the candidates who were selected for the political parties.
White southerners often intimidated African Africans into not voting. African Americans were threatened with losing their jobs or having harm done to their family if they voted. These forms of intimidation helped to keep African Americans from voting.
There were many methods used to keep African Americans from voting.