How were literacy tests used to deny suffrage to African Americans during the voter registration process?

Whenever blacks came to register to vote, some southern states, such as Mississippi and South Carolina, required registrants who could not read to interpret a section of the state’s constitution after it was read aloud to them.

Another test, the good-character test, required a registrant to bring a responsible witness along to vouch for his worth and standing.

In other tests, questions such as “How many bubbles are in a bar of soap?” were asked. Registrants who failed were not allowed to vote.

No such tests were given to white registrants.

About Karen Hill

Karen Hill is a freelance writer, editor, and columnist. Born in New York, her work has appeared in the Examiner, Yahoo News, Buzzfeed, among others.

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