Fun With Research: “Eequity” Edition

From a September 6, 1959 story in the New York Times, titled “Georgia Aide Says He Knew Negroes Held Degrees,” comes this bit of pleasantry from Terrell County, GA:

One of two Terrell County registrars who refused to register five Negroes on literacy grounds said today that he know at the time that some of the applicants were college graduates.

“We just followed the Georgia law,” said the official, State Senator Dixon Oxford of Dawson, “and they couldn’t pass.”

The five people were Edna Mae Lowe, a teacher with a bachelor’s degree; Janie Breedlove, also a teacher with a bachelor’s degree, Davey Louis Gibson, who was working an a Masters Degree at NYU; Grace Boyd Gibson, a college graduate; and Eddie George Lowe, who attended Tuskegee Institute. 

J.G. Raines, chairman of the Board of Registrars, “said that four of the five…could not read a selection from the Georgia Constitution concerning the duties of the Supreme Court.”

He declared that all had pronounced “equity” as “eequity” and slurred the word “original.”

This, by the way, was only a few months after Terrell County police had beaten to death James C. Brazier. A federal grand jury declined to bring charges.



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