Interview with Ethel Mae Matthews

OK. Now, I want you to think about 1973. Maynard Jackson was running for mayor of Atlanta and Ethel Mae Matthews was running for city counsel of Atlanta. Why were you running for city counsel? What was your platform?


To bring about a change for all poor peoples, regardless of race, creed, or color. And, I wanted to be--at that time--I wanted to be a councilwoman, to represent my peoples, which is poor peoples--someone that is worse off than I am; and, that's why I ran to be counsel woman, at that time. But, I was denied by a two-pound judge here in Atlanta, because, at that time, I was a welfare mother. And, I didn't have five hundred dollars to pay to be put on the ballot. And, I was denied my rights to be put on the ballot because I was poor, I was a welfare mother, and I was Black. And the two-pound judge denied me. So, at that time, ah, we had a welfare rights lawyer, who was working with us: Mr. Fred Leclercq, and so he was at court with me, at that time. And, so when the judge, said that I couldn't be put on the ballot, you know, because I didn't have the five hundred dollars. And, Mr. Fred Leclercq asked me was I willing fight to go to Washington, D.C. I told him yes--


Could you just hold on a second. I want to check a few things--