The "pencil test" decreed that if an individual could hold a pencil in their hair when they shook their head, they could not be classified as White.
William told us of this class defining technique from his childhood. The government had job positions for “pencil test operators”. These employees would go to the schools and if your hair could not hold a pencil you were considered white.
There were 3 classifications White, black or colored. This method of classification was stopped in 1990. William shared that the sales of blow dryers and flat irons sky rocketed in the 70’s as straightening your hair on pencil test day could effect your future and class status.
william, our guide, shook his head and said this method of classification was developed by the top minds in the country....
Learning every day...