See Rock City

See Rock City

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Could You Pass The Literacy Test

You have 10 minutes to answer these 30 questions.

Last week, in a 5-4 decision, the Supreme Court struck down Section 4(b) of the 1965 Voting Rights Act, a key provision in the law that mandated nine states with a history of racial discrimination, mostly in the South, to get federal permission before they could change their voter laws.

Below are scans of an actual “literacy test” given to black voters by the state of Louisiana in the 1960's. As Slate points out, “There was little room for befuddlement. The test was to be taken in 10 minutes flat, and a single wrong answer meant a failing grade.” Careful readers will note the irony of the typos in this test.