Voice Your Vote Assignment

AUC Woodruff Library “Voice Your Vote” Exhibit Assignment


Creator: Dr. Monique Earl-Lewis

Course Title: Morehouse - Introduction to Psychology as a Social Science


Assignment Description:

For this assignment, students will visit the AUC Woodruff Library's Archives Research Center's exhibit “#VoiceYourVote: The History of African Americans and the Vote.” 
Students will make critical observations of the exhibit and then respond to at least three of the following six (6) questions on the exhibit. Students should be specific in their responses using the language of psychology as appropriate to support and defend their answers.

1. Compare and contrast the emotion surrounding the political progress of African Americans during Reconstruction era and post-Obama era as it pertains to voting rights and representation in elected office. Describe the (a) behavioral, (b) cognitive and (c) social factors impacting behavior.

2. Looking forward, what is the biggest legislative hurdle facing African Americans and other minorities today? What legislation solution would you propose to the candidates in your community and why? Which of the approaches to motivation discussed in the chapter can be used to explain and influence the behavior of the candidates and voters?

3. In 1965 the Voting Rights Act outlawed poll taxes and literacy test that sought to disenfranchise African American and minority votes. What are some modern day hurdles minority voters face today and how can they overcome these obstacles? Use the emotion labels to describe the feelings you observed.

4. For years “Get out and Vote Campaigns” consisted of door-to-door canvasing, printed mailers, voter registration drives, and most recently social media ads. Many of these practices are still used today. Do you believe star power such as President Obama, Oprah Winfrey, Will Ferrell, etc., can/will be effective? Why or why not? If not, what methods would you utilize to be innovative in order to increase the effort to mobilize voters?

5. As you interact with the images, describe the roots and range of your emotions. Does the past struggle for voting rights mandate that you exercise the right yourself? Are you or others motivated by the argument that “not voting is disrespectful to this legacy?” Why or why not? What do you hope to change by voting?

6. Identify and discuss three new insights, including (a) what you learned and (b) what you felt from this exhibit. Use the hierarchy of emotion to support your answer. Discuss the similarities and differences of your insights and emotions as a group.


☛ Learning Outcomes

Students will be able to:

⚬ Gain experience in exhibit-based research.

⚬ Use critical thinking skills to connect historical events to current events.

⚬ Gain experience in analyzing historical events through the lens of psychology.

☛ Preparation for Assignment

⚬ Faculty should consult with the Archives Research Center prior to this assignment.

☛ Deliverables:

⚬ Response paper to at least three (3) of the six (6) questions posed in this assignment


Recommended Artwork/Archival Collections:

⚬ Voice Your Vote: The History of African Americans and the Right to Vote