Before she was allowed to register and vote for the first time in Franklin County, N.C., Rosanell Eaton had to read the entire preamble to the U.S. Constitution out loud in front of three men in the county courthouse.
Eaton is black. The three men testing her were white. The time was the early 1940s, when trying to vote was difficult and even dangerous for African-Americans. Contrived “literacy tests” were one of the milder obstacles that were deployed to suppress the black vote in the South.
Now 93, Eaton is back in court. This summer she is the lead plaintiff in one of two lawsuits brought by the North Carolina NAACP and others to prevent her state from raising a batch of new hurdles to voting in this November’s midterm elections. (Source: Read more)