Ahoskie Kiwanians played by own racial rules

“Harvey Jones is a young Negro Navy veteran who grows peanuts on 18 acres his father owns near Ahoskie, N.C. Two months ago Harvey was approached by a white man selling lottery tickets for a 1947 Cadillac. A good Southern Negro, Harvey asked if  ‘anyone’ could get in. The man said yes. Harvey bought a ticket.

“At Ahoskie’s Kiwanis Festival, Harvey’s ticket number was drawn. But the Kiwanians did not want a Negro to win. Three men went outside and explained to Harvey that he had made a mistake. The lottery was for white folks. They gave him his dollar back. After another drawing the car went to Dr. Charles Townes, a Waverly, Va., dentist. That, so far as Ahoskie’s Kiwanians were concerned, settled the matter.

“But a month later the news leaked out and the nation got highly indignant. Telegrams and letters startled the fly-specked town. Thundered the Atlanta Constitution, ‘The South just hasn’t got an excuse for this one.’

“Pressure from Kiwanis International induced the Ahoskie chapter to promise Harvey a new car anyway….”

– From Life magazine, July 28, 1947

According to Jet magazine, Harvey Jones received instead a check for $3,200, the value of the Cadillac.