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Excerpt from Oral History Interview with Margaret Carter, October 25, 1975. Interview A-0309-1. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007) See Entire Interview >>

Impressions of black voting habits

Carter describes how she believed the African American community had voted during the mid-twentieth century.

Citing this Excerpt

Oral History Interview with Margaret Carter, October 25, 1975. Interview A-0309-1. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007) in the Southern Oral History Program Collection, Southern Historical Collection, Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Full Text of the Excerpt

CHANDLER DAVIDSON:
Was there a fairly sharp increase after the white primary decision?
MARGARET CARTER:
Yes, with the white primary decision, blacks became interested in at least becoming Democratic precinct chairmen in the precincts they dominated, because they didn't understand too much about, say, the difference between Dr. Hammond and Mr. Jarvis, but they could understand, because they could listen to the radio, the difference between Roosevelt and his detractors and they very much wanted to support Roosevelt.
CHANDLER DAVIDSON:
What was the reason for their not being able to clearly understand the issues in city government?
MARGARET CARTER:
Well, they could be confused much more easily when you had only one newspaper and the newspaper also owned the local radio station, than on national issues.
CHANDLER DAVIDSON:
Does Ft. Worth have non-partisan municipal elections?
MARGARET CARTER:
Yes.
CHANDLER DAVIDSON:
Do you think that had any influence on the tendency to be confused?
MARGARET CARTER:
Yes. It was only very occasionally that any slates of candidates ran for city offices, so there were just individuals that they had to select and that was beyond them. It wasn't just that there were several unsavory characters in control, but that the ministers were pretty venal and they were able to get some participation from their congregations, which they controlled. They probably didn't understand the issues either, or maybe we didn't understand the issues.