The Poor of Macon County
Wendell Paris

[From a Tuskegee Institute Advancement League (TIAL) flyer from 1965 or possibly 1966]

In every county in the state of Alabama, as well as in other states, there are people who are considered to be less fortunate or the poor. These are people who are forced to live under lower economic, educational, social, and cultural conditions. They are located throughout this county.

Macon County has poor people of both races. The question sometimes come up as to what is being done by the community to help these less fortunate people. There seems to be very little indeed. Macon County is so busy trying to help the middle class Negro to enjoy total equality that it has forgotten its under-privileged brother. Not only is the white man not interested in the welfare of the poor, the Negro himself has forgotten his brother who surfers most of all.

It is a general feeling that Macon County is an ideal place in which to live, that people in Macon County have better race relations, are better off economically, have better educational and cultural backgrounds than any other community in the south. But this general attitude does not represent the true picture of the over-all county population. Macon County is an ideal county only for the middle class Negroes and for the parasitic white man who lives off others without making any useful fitting returns.

The poor Negroes are continuously exploited by the white man. This is borne out by the fact that Negroes are forced to work for substandard wages. He is further prevented from holding jobs through which [his] dollars make possible. People of lower economic and social levels suffer humiliation from both races, by economic pressures from the white man and social pressures from the Negro.

Finally let those who are heard to say that Tuskegee in Macon County is such an ideal community, answer why is it that certain church doors are closed to people because of race? Why is the Negro property tax systematically assessed higher than that of the white? Why is there over 100% registered white voters?

Copyright © Wendell Paris. 1965?.

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