VIII-"I Was a Negro in the South for 30 Days" - Ray Sprigle - Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

VIII-"I Was a Negro in the South for 30 Days" - Ray Sprigle - Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Two Negroes Who Have Earned Their Way

by: Ray Sprigle | publication date: August 17, 1948 | Publication: Pittsburgh Post-Gazette | pages: 1

 This is a "tough" town in a "tough" county. We break our journey to get a couple of bottles of beer in the picturesque juke joint that Jared Buford runs down here in the Negro section for colored folk. And again, "Jared Buford" is about as far away from his real name as could well be. Jared just took over this little beer place a few months ago. He bought it out of the profits he made on his 100 rented acres outside of town. Jared himself is a tall, powerful Negro who moves like a great cat. He was three years in the Army, two of them overseas. There’s one thing that Jared Buford would like to do. He’d like to vote. Just once. He’s never voted and he’s never tried to vote. And he makes it plain that as long as he lives in this county he’ll never even try to vote. "No," he explains, "nobody would ‘hurt’ a Negro who tried to register. They’d just pay you no never mind. You go up to the courthouse and tell the white folks you want to register. That’d be the end of it. Nobody would give you anything to register with. Come closing time you’d just have to go home."  

In a "tough" county, Sprigle examines what it means for its black residents to try to register to vote.

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