Interview with Amelia Boynton Robinson
QUESTION 5
INTERVIEWER:

LET ME STOP YOU. I WANT YOU TO START THAT AGAIN, YOU CAN STOP FOR A MINUTE, JOHN. I WANT YOU TO START THAT AGAIN BECAUSEOK WE'RE DESCRIBING THE PROCESS OF VOTING.

Amelia Boynton Robinson:

My husband was very, one of the very few people who was given the opportunity to bring people down there, and as he brought them down—that is, they were expecting him to bring one every now and then—he was supposed to tell that he knew these people. He knew where they lived, he knew their ages, or around their ages. He knew that they were, during their lifetime, they were people who had contributed, whatever they could to the, for the benefit of the city, or the county. And if he could tell all of that, saying that they were good Negroes, as it was said, that they would consider letting them become a registered voter. These people were known as vouchers. My husband was a voucher. When he began to bring three and four people at a time, then the registrar became very much upset about [sic] and said, "You're bringing too many people down here to register, why is it you're bringing these people down here? We have been registering and voting for them all the time, now, you are doing the wrong thing by bringing these large numbers of black people to register and vote." So he said, "They would like to be citizens," and later on, and this was in the 5Os, later on, they found out that he was training these people to register and vote. He was also helping them to come off of the plantation, as they were making crops for the plantation owner, rather than to make something for their family. And when he began to tell them that you can make crops for your own family, you have so many, so many children, and why do you let them stay tied up? If you want to get off of the farm, I will help to find some place for you where is for sale, and then I'll find a man who would loan you money to put down your option. You can move off of this place and become your own boss, and your children will be free. When he said that and it got back to the city fathers and to the landowner, they became very much disgusted with him because he was not teaching them how to make more corn, and more cotton for them. Other than that, they felt that he was doing more harm than he was good. They tried to find where he was doing something against the, the Hatch Act, which would have been the thing that would hang him.