Teaching the illiterate to write so that they have the right to vote, a key component in the Black movement for integration. Virginia, 1960.
Photo by Eve Arnold/Magnum

How much do you know about The Voting Rights Act of 1965?

This week, America celebrated the 50th anniversary of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, one of the most successful civil rights laws in this country’s history. Simply put, the act prohibits discriminatory voting practices that had been used to prevent people, particularly African-Americans, from voting. 

Though the legislation represented a major achievement, access to voting still remains an issue for many people in this country. State laws have rolled back early voting or require voters to have photo ID — practices believed by many to disproportionately target minorities and low-income communities.

Take this quiz to see how much you know about one of the nation’s most historic laws. 

Millions of Americans are denied the right to vote because of their color. The wrong is one which no American in his heart can justify. The right is one which no American true to our principles can deny,“ this president said in reference to his signing of the law. 

This court case neutered Section 5 of the VRA, which required states with a history of racial discrimination to submit any changes to their election rules to the federal government for approval.

During the speech, Obama stressed the importance for Americans to exercise their right to vote.

Voting Rights Act

How much do you know about The Voting Rights Act of 1965?