1965 Alabama Literacy Test

literacy test herblockIntimidation was rampant throughout the south the first half of the 20th century to prevent voting by “undesirables”, ie African Americans, Latinos, and poor whites.

Because local governments controlled voting requirements, it varied by locale as well as by the whims of the registrars.

Some discriminatory methods included poll taxes, grandfather clauses, voucher system, and literacy tests.

In Alabama there were many versions of a literacy test which ranged in difficulty. We have included a copy of an impossibly hard exam given in Alabama in 1965.

We have included the questions and answers.

This would be good for an introductory lesson, even for the first day of school, to show in part why learning history and government is so important.

Check out our Civil Right Movement PowerPoint.

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2 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. […] own doctoral dissertation, sent me a really interesting link from, funny enough, another site, the Social Studies and History Teachers blog.  Both of them are linked here at the […]

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