Oral History

Howard Lee - On politics and Black electoral progress in the south

Interviewed by Jack Bass and Walter DeVries on December 13, 1973

This interview is part of a project conducted from 1973-1975 by Jack Solomon Bass and Walter De Vries with political leaders, journalists, editors, party officials, political scientists, campaign directors, union officials, and civil rights leaders from Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, and Virginia, as part of a study of politics in the South, 1945-1974. The interview with Howard Lee includes the following topics: Black electoral progress in the South; trend toward coalition politics in the South and nation; types of effective political coalitions; personal entry into politics; campaign for mayor in 1969; intimidation attempts; reasons for running; early successes and failures as mayor; problems of Chapel Hill during first year of office and programs initiated; period of progress in the civil rights movement; significance of the Voting Rights Act of 1965; black progress broken down by the past three decades; changing racial views of white southerners; assessment of the North Carolina Democratic party; current developments within the party; assessment of the 1972 election in North Carolina; lack of attention to racial problems and progress in North Carolina; reasons for low black voter registration in North Carolina; failure of the state to develop much black leadership; assessment of the Sanford, Moore, Scott and Holshouser administrations; reasons for possible race for lieutenant governor in 1976; coalition necessary for Lee's election in 1976; black perception of Sam Ervin; effect of reapportionment in North Carolina; personal background; possible developing relationship of Blacks and the Republican party in the South; reasons for support of Terry Sanford in the 1972 North Carolina primary.

Howard Lee - On politics and Black electoral progress in the south

Howard Lee - On politics and Black electoral progress in the south


Oral history interview of Lee, Howard conducted by Bass, Jack on December 13, 1973.

Citation: Southern Oral History Program, “Howard Lee - On politics and Black electoral progress in the south,” From the Rock Wall, accessed September 20, 2021, https://fromtherockwall.org/oral-histories/howard-lee-on-politics-and-black-electoral-progress-in-the-south.

Rights: Open for research. The Southern Oral History Program (SOHP) welcomes non-commercial use and access that qualifies as fair use to all unrestricted interview materials in the collection. The researcher must cite and give proper credit to the SOHP. The SOHP requests that the researcher informs the SOHP as to how and where they are using the material.

View this interview on the Southern Oral History Program website

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