Suing to run for office in Birmingham
Shores recalls his 1952 effort, with other African Americans, to run for the county Democratic executive committee. After being blocked by state officials, they filed suit and won the seats.
Citing this Excerpt
Oral History Interview with Arthur Shores, July 17, 1974. Interview A-0021. 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
- ARTHUR SHORES:
Well, the first time I ran for public office was in 1942. I ran for the legislature and at that time, of course, it was merely to encourage blacks to register because we had less than 1,000 voters in this county, entire county.
- JACK BASS:
How many are there now in Jefferson county?
- ARTHUR SHORES:
About 80,000 I guess now. About 80,000 in Jefferson county now. And then of course in 1952—I believe it was '52—six of us filed for the county executive Democratic committee and we were denied the right to qualify, so we filed a suit in federal court and got an injuction against the entire election. In which election the governor of the state, Senator and sheriff. . . . In fact the entire state election was injoined. And then of course they permitted us . . . as a settlement they permitted us to qualify and run for the county executive Democratic committee. And the six of us won. Of course after that I ran for the legislature again. Made a creditable showing that time. Got some approximately 60,000 votes in the run off, but it wasn't quite enough to be elected.