Interview with Ed Gardner

Now, What did the middle class effort, both in terms of money and what effort mean to this campaign?


Well, it was, you know it was very important because once the, the campaign, we had the folks register to vote, that wasn't all. You still had to vote. And so it meant we had to have a, a body of particular Black businessmen who had the dollars, not big dollars like we had, but they could bring in those 10 and 15 or 20 thousand dollars. Ah, they formed a committee and we met nightly sometime. We said, look, we got to advertise where the dollar is coming from. Somehow we managed to get those dollars to pay for the advertisement. It got to the point that one time, well look, we don't have enough money to do this right. We're trying to raise something like 200, no, a million 250 thousand dollars. We didn't have it. So what had to happened some of us had to sign notes, myself, George Johnson, John Johnson, so forth. We signed notes for over 50 and 60 and 100 thousand dollars to be sure that the monies were there to do the advertising. The banks would loan the money but they said, Ed, look, in case this thing goes down we want to hold you responsible for paying 100 thou--thousand dollars back to our bank. So we all signed notes. Businesses like ours, even smaller businesses sign off on their note. And here's where you had the Black folks with money coming together. Keep in mind now, these are businesses that got started here in this city from the dollars from this community. So we're putting those dollars right back into a worthwhile cause.