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Poll Tax (Evelyn Butts)

AE Curator Jul 16
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Evelyn Butts knew her Civil Rights crusade went beyond African American rights. The poll tax—a payment created to keep blacks off voter rolls across the South—disenfranchised just as many of Virginia’s lower-income whites. Butts, a seamstress, emerged as a community leader in the 1950s. An early triumph came when she helped persuade Norfolk to build this neighborhood school. But her biggest impact came with her case against the hated tax, consolidated by the federal courts with a similar action in Fairfax. In 1966 the Supreme Court ruled in her favor. The poll tax became history.

Location: Norfolk
Image: The Virginian Pilot

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