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Excerpt from Oral History Interview with H. M. Michaux, November 20, 1974. Interview A-0135. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007) See Entire Interview >>

Politicians must now campaign for the black vote to win elections

Black political development in eastern North Carolina is in its infancy because eastern legislators are unconcerned with the black vote. Candidates cannot assume they have the black vote, but must actively seek it.

Citing this Excerpt

Oral History Interview with H. M. Michaux, November 20, 1974. Interview A-0135. 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:
Do you think eastern legislators now perceive blacks as being an integral part of their constituency?
H. M. MICHAUX:
No. The ones I know just don't. With one or two exceptions. I think they could care less.
JACK BASS:
Has this been the result of the failure of blacks to become sufficiently active politically in the east?
H. M. MICHAUX:
I think so. If they make their forces felt one time. . . . Well, I can look at what happened to Howard Lee's campaign against Fountain. Fountain came home and campaigned. First time since he's been elected that he's been home campaigning. I mean really actively campaigning. Because he knew that the percentage of black voters in his district could hurt him if Howard could have mobilized that force. So he came home and he had to pay some attention to his district, rather than sitting up in Washington and letting his campaign be run. And the Republicans are making Democrats aware of this also. You can't sit back now and expect that primary to make you tantamount to election. You have to work at it. The black vote is doing the same thing.