Voting Rights Act: Major dates in history


The Voting Rights Act is a historic civil rights law that is meant to ensure that the right to vote is not denied on account of race or color.

1866 Civil Rights Act of 1866 grants citizenship, but not the right to vote, to all native-born Americans.

Congress passes the Fifteenth Amendment giving African American men the right to vote.

Louisiana passes “grandfather clauses” to keep former slaves and their descendants from voting. As a result, registered black voters drops from 44.8% in 1896 to 4.0% four years later. Mississippi, South Carolina, Alabama and Virginia follow Louisiana’s lead by enacting their own grandfather clauses.

Only 3% of eligible African Americans in the South are registered to vote. Jim Crow laws like literacy tests and poll taxes were meant to keep African Americans from voting.

Here is an example of real literacy test:

The State of Louisiana Literacy Test (this test is to be given to anyone who cannot prove a fifth grade education)

Do what you are told in each statement, nothing more, nothing less.Be careful as one wrong answer denotes failure of the test. You have 10 minutes to complete the test.

Draw a line around the number of letter of this sentence.

Draw a line under the last word of this line.

Cross out the longest word of this line.

Draw a line around the shortest word of this line.

Circle the first, first letter of the alphabet in this line

In the space below draw three circles,  one inside by (engulfed by) the other.

More here. (Note: Throughout February, at least one post will honor The Black History Month. This year’s theme is “African Americans and the Vote.” Readers are encouraged to send in their suggestions)