Marion Butts Collection:
Objectives: Students understand the debate in Dallas surrounding the poll tax, strategies used by African Americans to ensure political participation (voting), and ways in which poll taxes were used to disfranchise African Americans.
Social Studies TEKS:
- TEK 7.21C Organize and interpret information from outlines, reports, databases, and visuals including graphs, charts, timelines, and mapsTEK 7.21C Organize and interpret information from outlines, reports, databases, and visuals including graphs, charts, timelines, and maps
- TEK 7.7C Trace the civil rights and equal rights movements of various groups in Texas in the 20th century and identify key leaders in these movements.
Approximately 2-3 class periods
Materials & Resources:
- Copies of graphic organizers and primary source documents, including newspaper articles from the Dallas Express
- Students should read the provided letters to the editor from the early 1960s.
- Lead the students through the 'Guided Practice.'
- Have students work independently or in pairs to read one of the three provided letters to the editor in 'Independent Practice.'
- Pick one person for each letter to present to the class (All three letters should be represented)
- Class Discussion - Show students the provided PowerPoint with photographs from the Marion Butts collection. Based on the letters to the editor and these photographs, what was public opinion in regards to the poll tax?
- Read the article- Texas rejects the poll tax repeal
- Discuss: Why do you think the movement to repeal the poll tax in Texas was defeated?'
- How does the poll tax contradict Constitutional Rights granted to African Americans?
- How does the poll tax contradict the values of democracy in the United States?
- What other groups do you think were affected by the poll tax (besides African Americans)?
- Read the editorial response from Dallas Express newspaper after the poll tax repeal was defeated.