The Fifteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution prohibits denying citizens the right to vote based on their "race, color, or previous condition of servitude."
"The hearing in North Carolina is one with national implications," said Rev. Dr. William J. Barber II, president of the North Carolina NAACP.
Wells was an outstanding civil rights activist and journalist of the late 19th and early 20th centuries.
In 1866, Thaddeus Stevens offered an amendment to a bill requiring 40 acre plots be parceled out to former slaves from both confiscated and public land in the former slave South.