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!
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.