Interview with Erle Johnston
QUESTION 53
INTERVIEWER:

BUT DID YOU THINK THE, THAT THE BLACK PEOPLE IN ‘63, ‘64, AT THAT PERIOD, DID YOU THINK THEY HAD FULL VOTING RIGHTS? I MEAN, DID YOU THINK THERE WAS NO ARGUMENT THERE? OR DID YOU THINK THERE WAS SOME CHANGE?

Erle Johnston:

Governor Barnett expressed the thinking of most Mississippians when he said that voting itself wasn't a right, voting was a privilege. Consequently, a person ought to be able to earn the right to vote by being literate or by being able to at least do some things that would be, say against the person who had to grow up and couldn't even write his name. He considered it a privilege of citizenship and not just a right because he was a citizen.