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Oral History Interview with Richard Arrington, July 18, 1974. Interview A-0001. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007).
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  • Abstract
    Richard Arrington, who three years after this interview would become the first African American mayor of Birmingham, Alabama, discusses race and politics in the American South and his nascent political career, which began with a seat on the Birmingham City Council. He describes a city where white elites are very concerned with controlling the kinds of African Americans who enter politics, but where young black politicians are managing to get a foothold in city politics. He hopes that the black presence will continue to increase in Alabama and that African American politicians can set aside their differences.
  • Sense of obligation to enter politics
  • Arrington runs for city council
  • Civic group helps Birmingham
  • Race, politics, and development in Birmingham
  • Black candidate passed over for vacant council seat
  • More black politicians means more attention to blacks' concerns
  • Puzzlement at black endorsements of George Wallace
  • Desire to involve young African Americans in politics
  • Role of the Alabama Democratic Congress
  • Learn More
  • Finding aid to the Southern Oral History Program Collection
  • Database of all Southern Oral History Program Collection interviews
  • Subjects
  • African American politicians--Alabama
  • Alabama--Politics and government
  • Democratic Party (Ala.)
  • Wallace, George C. (George Corley), 1919-
  • The Southern Oral History Program transcripts presented here on Documenting the American South undergo an editorial process to remove transcription errors. Texts may differ from the original transcripts held by the Southern Historical Collection.

    Funding from the Institute for Museum and Library Services supported the electronic publication of this title.