by G. Brown
It is still a viable question posed by many Black voters convinced the system is rigged-‘why should I vote?’ As the nation continues to wait for the outcome of the Federal Probe into Russian Collusion in the last Presidential race, it truly seems like voting is a waste of time if other countries can so easily hack our system and throw us into chaos.
The answer to ‘why should I vote?’ isn’t a one layer question. There’s the future to consider when looking at a field of candidates as well as the hot button issues like gun control, abortion rights, education, police brutality. But Black voters also have an extra consideration many carry with them into the voting booths–the past.
Even after the Voting Rights Act of 1965, Blacks still were not given the legal privilege or human dignity of voting in many states. To deny many Black voters, some cities and states came up with tests as an impediment. The literacy tests as they were called were insanely difficult. They didn’t address local laws or voting issues, but were designed for one thing only-to keep Blacks from passing.
Below are some sample questions. Do yourself a favor and see how many you can answer in the allotted ten minute time frame. Don’t cheat…or Google help. Remember even one wrong answer means you failed the test and could not vote.This is the test that maybe your great grandparents or your parents great grandparents were forced to take if they wanted to vote. Once you complete the test, let us know in comments if the test changed your perspective on exercising your right to vote. Good Luck!
The test below is reportedly a copy taken from Slate.com of the Louisiana Voter Literacy Test, circa 1964. Via the Civil Right Movement Veterans website. Click the links if you want to print a copy to share with family and friends.