Review: Lillian’s Right To Vote Shows Struggles Black People Faced To Cast A Ballot

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“A very old women stands at the bottom of a very steep hill. It’s Voting Day, she’s an American. And by God, she is going to vote. Lillian is her name.”

Those are the words from Jonah Winter’s and Shane W. Evans’ book, Lillian’s Right to Vote.

In this story, it explain the struggles black people had to face to get the right to vote.

This is all going on in Lillian’s head as she remembers stories about how how her relatives tried to vote after the Civil War that ended slavery. She remembers being turned away with her parents in 1920 after white women were given the right to vote.  She remembers her Uncle Levi telling her about the “tests” he had to take before voting, questions like “how many bubbles are in a bar of soap?” and other impossible questions just so the registrar had a reason to make him not vote.

As Lillian walks up hills and across streets, she realizes how lucky she is to be able to vote without people kicking her out. She is very grateful that all of these people stood up and tried to make voting a right for everyone.

I liked this book because of the stories it told inside of the story, and I thought that the way they told history was really cool. I also enjoyed looking at the photographs because of the way it was colored. When Lillian was thinking about something, it would appear shaded in dark blue or green, and Lillian would be in brighter colors.

I was really surprised when I read that black people couldn’t vote until 1965. I can’t believe that when my grandma was born, her parents didn’t have the right to vote. I feel like it should have been earlier, like in the 1800s.

I recommend this book to students who want to learn about African-American history. This is also a good book for teachers to read to their students while teaching them the history of voting.

This book gets 3 out of 4 roses.




  1. Hi Elena, did the book explain which legislation was enacted in 1965?

    Voting rights are still a very current topic. Today your parents voted for two proposals related to how voting districts are determined and how people are registered to vote. Have you discussed those together?

    Liked by 1 person

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