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Unformatted text preview: were as illiterate as most blacks in Ford County, said, "Can you read this?" "This is not English," Callie said. "It's German." "Can you read it?" the clerk asked, realizing that she might have her hands full with this couple. "I can read as much of it as you can," Callie said politely. The clerk withdrew the card and handed over another. "Can you read this?" she asked. "I can," Callie said. "It's the Bill of Rights." "What does number eight say?" Callie read it slowly, then said, "The Eighth Amendment prohibits excessive fines and cruel punishments." At about this time, depending on whose version was being described, Esau leaned in and said, "We are property owners." He placed the deed to their home on the counter and the deputy clerk examined it. Property ownership was not a prerequisite to voting, but it was a huge asset if you were black. Not knowing what else to do, she said, "Fair enough. The poll tax will be two dollars each." Esau handed over the money, and with that they joined the voter rolls with thirty-one other blacks, none of whom were women. They never missed an election. Miss Callie had always worried because so few of her friends bothered to register and vote, but she was too busy raising eight children to do much about it. Ford County was spared the racial unrest that was common throughout most of the state, so there was never an organized drive to register blacks. - --- At first I couldn't tell if she was anxious or excited. I'm not sure she knew either. The first black female voter might now become the first black juror. She had never backed away from a challenge, but she had grave moral concerns about judging another person. " 'Judge not, that ye be not judged,'" she said more than once, quoting Jesus. "But if everyone followed that verse of Scripture, our entire judicial system would fail, wouldn't it?" I asked. "I don't know," she said, gazing away. I had ne...
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This note was uploaded on 07/18/2010 for the course LIT 301 taught by Professor Dra during the Spring '10 term at American College of Computer & Information Sciences.
- Spring '10