Home  » Collections A-Z  » Oral Histories of the American South: The Civil Rights Movement  » All Items  » Oral history interview with James Folsom, December 28, 1974

Oral history interview with James Folsom, December 28, 1974

 Click here to view the item
Creator:Folsom, James Elisha
Creator:Waid, Candace
Creator:Tullos, Allen, 1950-
Creator:Southern Oral History Program
Title:Oral history interview with James Folsom, December 28, 1974
Date:1974 Dec. 28

James Folsom served as the governor of Alabama for two terms in the 1940s, during which time he worked to change racial politics and improve the plight of black Americans. The interview begins with a review of his personal background and family history, including how his grandfather participated in politics and opposed secession. Folsom explains how he received an education by visiting the courthouse with his father and by working as a merchant seaman. He also worked for the Works Progress Administration during the Depression before campaigning twice for Congress and joining the race for governor in 1942. As governor, he opposed the poll tax, appealed for reapportionment of state funding, and avoided campaign slogans and gimmicks based on racist rhetoric. Instead, he used political folk-style music in campaigning. Folsom voted for Henry Wallace at the Democratic National Convention in 1948 and later supported Harry Truman. He describes how he developed liberal ideas on race and why he believed that race was no longer a viable political issue in the South. Because of his stand on such issues as reapportionment, the state legislature opposed him while he was governor, as did many Alabama newspapers. The interview ends with his reasons for supporting McGovern in the 1972 election and his views on the current political scene.

The Civil Rights Digital Library received support from a National Leadership Grant for Libraries awarded to the University of Georgia by the Institute of Museum and Library Services for the aggregation and enhancement of partner metadata.

Types:Transcripts | Sound recordings | Oral histories (document genres) | Text | Sound
Subjects:Folsom, James Elisha | Alabama--Politics and government | Alabama--Race relations | Governors--Alabama | Georgia--Politics and government--1865-1950 | Political campaigns--Georgia | Georgia--Race relations--Political aspects | United States, Alabama, 32.318231, -86.902298 | United States, Georgia, 32.165622, -82.900075
Collection:Oral Histories of the American South: The Civil Rights Movement
Institution:Documenting the American South (University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill)
Contributors:University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Documenting the American South (Project)
Rights and Usage:


Related Materials:

Forms part of Oral histories of the American South collection.

Persistent Link to Item:http://docsouth.unc.edu/sohp/A-0319/menu.html