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Excerpt from Oral History Interview with I. Beverly Lake Sr., September 8, 1987. Interview C-0043. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007) See Entire Interview >>

Lack of political knowledge and positive press coverage made his campaign more difficult

Lake's bid for governor fell victim to poor press and an underestimation of campaign financing. He discusses how he felt the press frequently mischaracterized his campaign for being anti-black. His lack of political education did not prepare him for the financial realities of campaigning.

Citing this Excerpt

Oral History Interview with I. Beverly Lake Sr., September 8, 1987. Interview C-0043. 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

CHARLES DUNN:
At the time you ran for Governor, you were somewhat of a political novice weren't you? Had you been active in politics?
I. BEVERLY LAKE:
Somewhat! I was a rank political novice! [Laughter] I didn't know anything about organization. Well, I'll show you how naive I was. Bob Morgan, my manager, although he had been in the Legislature, was almost as naive. I said, "Bob, how much do you think we've got to raise?" Bob thought $40,000.00 would be enough to run a successful campaign, and I didn't know any better then, I didn't have any money, and I wasn't going to mortgage my home and jeopardize my family's home in order to run for Governor. I said, "If the people of North Carolina want me to run for Governor, I will put out a program." It was not just schools. I had a twelve point program, if you will remember, dealing with highways, attraction of business, schools, crime prevention, various public utility regulations, and various and sundry other vital programs. All of them, I discussed all of them in my campaign. But with the exception of the Durham Herald, thanks to you--you were a reporter over there--most of the newspapers in the state did not give my campaign a fair deal. Every time I spoke it was belittled, and it was portrayed, my campaign was portrayed, as an anti-Negro campaign which it was not. I never in my campaign, either one, I never made a speech to a white audience that I would not have made to a Negro audience or to an integrated audience. So I have no apology for my campaign. I've got all my speeches. And I'll show them to anybody who asks about them.
CHARLES DUNN:
I remember you made some outstanding speeches, I thought, on fiscal responsibility of the government.