‘I held the same Bible… and I was perfectly happy’

“For the first time in the history of Greensboro, N.C. (pop. 73,703), a Negro took office last week as a member of the city council…. Though Greensboro is 23 percent Negro, Dr. William Milford Hampton, 38, got so many white votes that he didn’t even need the large majority he rolled up in the Negro districts. ‘Further tribute to the evolution of interracial relations,’ editorialized the Greensboro Daily News. After the swearing-in, fellow Councilman John Van Lindley said: ‘I held the same Bible with him, and I was perfectly happy.’

“New Jersey-born Councilman Hampton got his medical training at Meharry Medical College in Nashville, moved to Greensboro in 1940. ‘You live better in the South,’ he said.”

— From Time magazine, May 28, 1951

Perhaps a larger factor in Hampton’s victory than white support: single-shot voting in black precincts.

Marcus Garvey gave audience all stick, no carrot

“At the [1923] state fair in Raleigh, North Carolina, [“Back-to-Africa” leader Marcus Garvey]  meditated on a favorite theme: Negro lassitude….. Garvey sought to inspire by berating the black audience for its laziness. ‘If I waited for Negroes to convey me from New York to Raleigh,’ he lamented, ‘I would be walking for six months.’ Curiously, reported the Greensboro Daily News, even as Garvey ‘took the hide off his hearers…they cheered.’ ”

— From “Negro with a Hat: The Rise and Fall of Marcus Garvey” by Colin Grant (2008)