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Honor Dr. King, Broadside, 1970


At the close of the Civil War and the passing of the Fifteenth Amendment, all male citizens, regardless of their race or previous status, were supposed to be able to vote.  However, many states, including Virginia, found ways to exclude African Americans from voting, such as implementing poll taxes. In 1965, however, these discriminatory practices were outlawed under the federal Voting Rights Acts; with its passing, many African Americans gained the ability to vote for the first time.

Nevertheless, getting all eligible voters to the polls was a challenge, and this 1970 poster invokes the name of the deceased Civil Rights leader, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., in order to encourage all citizens to register and vote. 

Definition: Broadsides were posters, announcing events or proclamations, or simply advertisements. 

Citation: Honor Dr. King. Richmond, Va.: Richmond Welfare Rights Organization, 1970. Broadside 1970 .H6 FF, Manuscripts & Special Collections, Library of Virginia


History: VS.1, VS.8, VS.9, USII.1, USII.3, USII.4, USII.9, CE.1, CE.3, VUS.1, VUS.7, VUS.14, GOVT.1, GOVT.18, GOVT.19
Art: 4.1, 5.1

Suggested Questions

Analyze:  Civil Rights icon and leader Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was assassinated two years before this poster was printed.  To what extent is using his name important in the drive for voter registration?

Artistic Exploration: Make a voting registration poster with the image of a notable person. Who did you choose and why?


Allowed tags: <p>, <a>, <em>, <strong>, <ul>, <ol>, <li>