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Excerpt from Oral History Interview with Richard Arrington, July 18, 1974. Interview A-0001. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007) See Entire Interview >>

Sense of obligation to enter politics

Arrington describes his gradual political awakening, which stemmed from a belief that black Americans who benefited from the accomplishments of the civil rights movement needed to enter the political arena.

Citing this Excerpt

Oral History Interview with Richard Arrington, July 18, 1974. Interview A-0001. 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

JACK BASS:
Tell me a little about your experience on council? Did you have any prior political experience at all? [Any] party activities?
RICHARD ARRINGTON:
No, I had none at all. I think I was becoming more and more aware of the need for blacks, particularly some of the younger blacks and some who have sort of reaped some of the benefits of all the blacks in terms of getting education and some of the other benefits that blacks are enjoying as they move to the middle class. I think I was becoming increasingly sensitive to the need for us to become involved in the political situation and what the political situation means for blacks. And the hope that it holds for blacks in terms of achieving what I consider to be full equality and freedom for black people in this country. But I had never before participated in the political race. In fact I don't believe I had ever even worked in a political race for a candidate. I sort of kept an interest in it as a voter and that was about it.