Literacy tests for WWI Recruits and Black Voters

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WWI literacy test for recruits

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Page 3 of a 1962 near impossible literacy test for African American in Louisiana in order to keep them from voting

There is a great new history blog in Slate.com called The Vault.  It highlights historical gems that the writer Rebecca Onion pulls out of the archival void into the sunny view of the readers.  Two very interesting artifacts that she found are two very different literacy tests.  The first is an innocuous, but almost existential, literacy test for American recruits for the armed forces at the beginning of the First World War.  The second has more sinister intentions and is meant to keep African Americans from voting with its inscrutable 30 questions that  require a nearly impossible score of 100 percent in order for the individual to be allowed to vote.

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2 thoughts on “Literacy tests for WWI Recruits and Black Voters

    • Ues you have to keep digging because this society works diligently to bury things. For example, in Texas US history books were recently adopted that removed the word slavery and replaced it with the phrase forced immigration? It takes moments like this to realize perspective. The above tests are common knowledge to many blacks because our parents and grandparents told us about living it and more that you likely don’t know about. Until all people try to understand the perspective of others when dealing with each other how can people overcome things?

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