Interviewer: "Button Project" ?2- (iq d J ) "t /
Interveiwee: Frank Hampton C fL' ., :., "'7".. C 4 C.O .-L "'.,
Place: Jacksonville f : ( / A 9"^
Date: October 10, 1975
2: Going right back to 1965 to help blacks take part in Florida politics,
H: Not only Florida politics, the voting rights of 1964 was one of the best things that
a6 far ar5s o urcrntee g
ever happened in the United States of America blacks the opportunity
to vote of any.party of their own choice, As you know, they used to give examinational
tests for voters, mainly only blacks for the last _
and all of the schools stayed in order to divide the blacks, generally keep the
Constitution of the United States up A they couldn't do the MrseC\ Ce But the
voting rights act of 1964 was one of the best things that ever happened to this
I: What year did you first register to vote?
H: My first regis--, I first registered to vote in 1945, thirty years ago,
I: What year were you eligible to vote?
H: Well, I wouldn't have been eligible to vote until that because before then, as you
Ps5 fterny-one, the I
know, theff- age for voting was twenty-one. I was in the service. I
hxQ been able to
was young at that time and I wouldn'tAvote till I got out of the service.
I: How were you registered -- local -r-ut#er board or federal examiner?
H: Registered the board, I was from the local registration board, iS d_______
who was the chaplain of our church at time for us in 1944 in order for a negro to have
an opportunity to vote tVht 6~re. f(icO primary,/ .wrote letters, cause he couldn't
do it. It happened if you wanted (~JL in 1944 that every Black in this community
helped0 t^oS k-r- i}cO O)ClnCrQT,
I: Did the local registers ever turn you down when you applied to register?
H: No, they never turned us down. They turned him down, they turned everybody down
before 1934, before 1944. No Blacks had registered to vote in Duval county.
I: ____wasn't he the director of That
Vot i- (QtlOi1h0bnjr'Cthen held and just communicated to our office,
H: Yes, they had a VOfCern(r i2iso1 l down at NAACP, V\iOCr rcS o drive, not only
H: -i['f C-i':ct' /l9'in but throughout the county.
I: Could you name some of the organizations, local and national, that held a registration
drive. A/ephQ Orwej3i
H: Oh, yes. The NAACP, theft 8 fraternity, the Citi:zens Committed for Registration --
we had several that held registration drives,
I: When were these 1L F registration drives held?
H: They had one way back in 1947. You had some in 1951, '59, '61, and even A this year
I: How do _voter registration drive ,
H: They're, the first voter registration drive we had back in 1947 and '51 was right
after we heard from the board that we had only 7,000 and we doubled that 7,000
on the first drive. 1L C/QLOjall the drives up here have been very
successful and I hope they are able to/ c 0 n ,
I: Are there any things which prevent blacks from registering to vote in your district
H: Just blacks were just not interested and it's something that should be done to motivate
the blacks in order to/la registered voter so that they can take an active part more.
For years and years they have said that they would be relevant as to whether or not
that blacks were able to vote or not, if it didn't make any difference, but I'm certain
that it's coming right at that point now that they realize black freedom makes the form
I: 7&/ AeJ/b 21 /wcry)4/2 ^ou M/)) eac lt ce i& /f- 1/iK .f
.' omr, /. ,, Yeu-could not hv+ dpcndzd on whites. Is this very important?
Fairly important? Or not important?
H: Well, it is. It is very important because even the ones who are registered to vote/
provided if there are certain areas or certain whites in the community would be
opposed to something that is going on, all it had to dowas get to certain people in
the community and they would comeout opposed to it, So 1 would say it's a very, it's
c12 a lot of, it's a very, very important point then to reTfalc an tn andjvtir
1: Was fear, physical violence and whites very important?
H: No, physical violence has nothing/with it. It was economics,
I: Complicated registration forms?
H: It doesn't have nothing to do with it.
I: Poor registration hours?
H: No. .
I: Registation not held often enough?
I: Indifference of blacks to voting?
I: First, this is Section B, The following questions are asked to gather information
on the election campaigns of black elected officials in Florida, Were you able to cam-
paign freely; that is, were you threatened in any way in your campaign?
H: Oh, no. I don't think so. but I wasn't threatened)
anything. I mean, that's
I: Were you handicapped by a lack of campaign money?
a\wry> hlbnndiOa Fowe r
H: Oh, yes. I was T-rmaB-yAby a lack of campaign money through my tie in with the co~t~ ge
structure throughout the community. rI'd ~s4. p -- they're the
ones who raised funds and in turn contribute funds to campaigns of their choice and
they show that they have the money to offer that they use for their own personal self-
gain and not for the good of the whole community.
I: Why did you decide to run for office?
H: Well, at the time I ran for office I'd been active in government for a period of 44-gh
on to thirty years but I decided to run for office because I felt that there was some
things that I wanted to bring out, that I couldn't get going and the people in the
community couldn't even help because those many refused to
cause the things that I was saying and that was the only way, the only
choice, the only chance I had was to seek a public office and -pFr+l.i Ii/T ,ri?, l 0 0
Wi and for two years I gave them hell and told it just like it was and if they didn't like
LU~h and for two years I gave them hell and told it just like it was and if they didn't like
H: it so they were able to put someone else there. They
I: To which public, to which political organization do you belong?
H: I'm a member of the Democratic Executive Committee and also a member of the
'efrl Club which is an organization which I started, consists of white and black
in the community. We meet this afternoon at two,
I: What political party do you belong to?
I: What were the two or three most important issues on which you campaigned?
H: Well, one that I felt was very important was the closing of the bar j FC.
in the city of Jacksonville1 ,Prostitution, vice, crime and corruption was going on,
Stolen goods and dope was being sold. I take that as one of our major things and now
I was also opposed to the increase in sewer and water rates but I know now that they
are coming up and they will shut them down as they did before which is really
pathetic. They claim that they have to do it for the Environmental Protection Board.
They have to do it for various reasons under 92500 which is a federal law, but when
they went ahead and passed the $62 million bond program and then the $34 million
bond program, then they had to do this, When the money came in to Florida
it went to Miami and Tampa Adid nothing for the local citizens here had to pay their
full indebtedness while the people in Tampa and Miami reaped the benefits of all the
tax dollars. But Jacksonville wanted to be first and they was first, but they paid
dear for it.
I: Do you think a y-i-sge was the main problem facing blacks in your community?
H: Well, I, I don't really know what was the main problem facing blacks in the community
but the problems of blacks in the community should be looked at as crime. Crime is
t unity of ourse,
the greatest problem we have. Job oppor is another and I really we all,
1 1 COMI'A W '^/D
as far as the citizens of Jacksonville, eajy C I_ O C i --udi tors
showing that we were still practicing segration and jr i c5fOfilO-,, as far as
job employment in the city of Jacksonville and the administration was doing nothing
about it, although we had an affirmative action officer who was black and I was
H: living on him -- C9I A rn- i'C.:. I -',wICc- because he was not doing his job so
he finally resigned and went somewhere else. I would say job opportunity and crime
is the most pressing things of the community that pertain to blacks,
I: What about hou~se+g?
H: Well, housing is always affected because we are short housing, not only for black
folks, but whites, too. S46 will be a problem for some time or -at the federal
government go back in and do something about housing. You know they cut out 220,
house; they cut out the 235; they cut out our own program, 236s. That was really
beneficial to houses. But more than we knew about the cut, is because not only the
blacks destroyed pubic housing. Matter of fact, that's one thing that we have to look
at, is letting every one know that each and every individual has a responsibility, that
is an minority or majority should go in and make sure that assume that responsibility
and this will, housing will always be a problem. It will be a problem for even years
I: Let's just see. These questions are aked to determine some of the conditions which
have enabled you to win office in Florida. How were you elected: at large or by
H: I was elected by district and this is the only way that you are going to find that you
will have the fair representation is by district -e because legislature have more
d__ _dy -=afig -ime they all ran at large and only had a very few
people now in the leglislature, or the state legislature where you have only three
blacks represented in the state legislature throughout the state of Florida. Duval
county alone has C)fift/C. representation that will use elections from
districts instead of districts, you'll be able to come up with at least
three or four blacks elected to the legislature as well as one senator elected to the
legislature. But there ___along with Senator Firestone and
Harold the last ro:.~,,i f/':/ / in the state of Florida,
and we weren't able, we failed. We weren't able to get through. CfWt e 6 C/7c'r
lol /The only way blacks are going to be elected he"e from district representation. They'll
H: give them one or two in order to say, "Well, it can be done," but you bet your life
it's going to be 90 ___ _, 90 unfair. Forget it! Minority groups, in
order to be
I: What about consolidation? DO (/O(U '//_7 /+
H: Consolidation C good step.-an the right direction 6-e-by. If thy
ho^i~i' f/ 4o '. ) ^ r 'O/^/^-^i 4-rnw^+- ^^/^i
mainly by having the strong n /j0V that was real bad in order to have our
administration with all ~~ t#d O/ gfl /I CVCt'/CC/A/ which he can not do. I would say
if you work the by having your district voted is about the only
way blacks have a real good chance of being elected because running./ /l
they had l-om chance. We did have, from the -he city, when we had nigh, oh, I would
say we had -'4% of the population and S of the vote, but we were able to elect the
two first black __ to the city-wide election and this what was the main
reason for -tt~e.et44 n. Consolidated government came about mainly to ///7. 1~
the black votedW as far as the city of Jacksonville was concerned and not
you hear them talk about it, it wasn't that. It was mainly for the
//'6 /lB9l :.,//c black folk's control over the heart of the city of Jacksonville.
1: How many people who were in your district ?
H: Oh, you had some 15,000 registered voters and some 37,000 people that lived there,
There was only, they not even half of the number of registered are eligible voters.in
the district registered to vote.
1: What percentage of the population in your district is black?
H: Well, you have about 904 of the population of the district is black.
I: About what percentage of black of voting age in your district are registered to
H: Oh, I would say, you had some 14, some 14,000 that vote, not eligible to vote, but
you have some 26 or 27,000 that are eligible to vote, that are old enough to vote,
but haven-rt evm-e-registered.
I: Do you think you got any votes from whites?
H: Well, I got them -- votes from whites, ... '''' the white
community voted for me, which was kind of new to me, cause blacks voted against me,
I: What percentage of the total vote came from whites? Do you know?
H: I don't know. I only had a very small amount of votes/from the white community/
he _)_ r"that lived in the but I had a majority of the whites that
I: In the election in which you won office, how many opponents did you have?
H: Well, the first time I ran, it was five; the second time, it was six..
I: How many were white and how many were black?
H: No whites; all blacks.
I: What per cent of the total vote did you receive?
pe -f -C<^~!/- i ic
H: Well, I received 37* in the first primary and say about '45% in the second.
I: __. These questions are asked to determine how well black
officials in Florida have been able to benefit those they represent, In what ways do
you think you have helped blacks in your district by holding office?
H: Well, the way that I feel, I got __cause we were able to get some
of the things that we thought ____we were able
in the two years that I had office than we had been able to get in
___I was able to bring out many things that I know
was an advantage or a disadvantage before I ___ 4 But in my
we had several projects that affected blacks only. In
one area here we had one $8 million training program, $1.4 million, another training
program; it was $87, $89 million we wouldn't be able to pay for
*.-;- .-.,'n .' .. the recreation area but to softball lighting field and
basketball courts that we had neglected for sometime. All of these
Regardless of me losing, cause these were things that I would need to do
during the time I was there. I was there. No one could change it because we had
H: c-- c' //O^CCr W ,Wour budget and they coudln't take it out and if they had at
this point, it would have put a lot of _people in our district, and not
only in our district, but throughout the whole community and Nattress' district and all,
committee and committee, they'd benefit from
Now if we s+haTh get blacks who are interested in doing what they
know that practically can be done, regardless of the effect it would take upon them is
what other areas are concerned, this is what's going to happen. But if they don't get
in there and do what they know is right, then you'll be just paddling along and paddling
along until you O(/CN' 1v.
I: .what-de-you thir4', do you think items are from preventing you from doing
a better, from doing a good job while you are in office of benefitting blacks?
The office, did it have, had no real authority -- very important, fairly important, or
H: Oh, it's very important. Being an elected official of the law-making body is a very
important position. Now you can and determine and you can work together with
other people on the same legislative branch in order to get things done. I couldn't do
these things that I was able to *y by myself, I had to align myself with some of the
whites who was elev-, as you know. In anp area, in any given area, you have some, the
poor whites and the blacks is always the last to get anything, so I aligned myself with
other councilmen who represented 4r- whites as well as blacks in order to accomplish
so it's a very important position.
I: Were you outvoted by white officials -- was it very important, fairly important, or
H: Well, it was very important. Sometimes I was outvoted by other whites and I had a lot
of white people go along with me and I would say that I was able to pass as much or
more legislation in two years than any councilman ever did in the history of the city
of Jacksonville, so I had to get white support in order to do it, so I cannot say that
all of the whites was opposed to me just because I was black, but I would say that they
went along with good legislation and I presented 1~- 4- I tO 1 i CY ,
I: Not enough revenue available prevented you from doing a better job is very important,
fairly important, or not important?
H: Well, it was, the revenue was there, it was just that sometimes we passed certain legi-
slation and was not over, able to hold out a mass veto, and mass veto
he got fourteen votes to veto a bills and we just had a whole lot of vetos,
Like golf courses, we were able to pass that bill, but I had to
but a mass veto, we just didn't have enough votes to override his
veto. So that was an asset. That would have been an asset to the community. They saic
that we didn't have the revenue. That was a lie. We had the revenue +Dt1F0Cl(rC
r,':,'. Property. If you dote, the adjustment now $250, $30 000 in order
to do engineering architecturE work for the new state building is concerned -- they
had the money to do that. We got, they got the money. They just didn'tLanf to spend
I: Hew about unfamiliar with administrative duties -- was it very important, fairly
important or not important?
H: Well, you had to be familiar with administrative duty, fiiLr.BW A I had been
active a long time and I was just as active before I became an elected official as I
was when I wasn't an elected official. You've got no one, white or black in this
community know any more about government than I do. I don't care who it is. I
and I know that I know they
I don't care who they coming, where they're coming or where they're going. I know this
I: The lack of cooperation from whites prevented you from doing a better job?
H: The lack of cooperation from the press prevented me from doing a better job, because
the press was always opposed to me. This is nothing new to me because I've never got-
ten this cooperation from the press because we don't think alike. I think in the
strange stream of little people is what black people and little people/concerned and
not big business. Big business has never been with me and I've never been with big
1: Lack of cooperation from blacks is very important, fairly important, not important?
H: I would say cooperation from blacks would have been very important, but I did not get
cooperation from the so-called black leaders. They was not in the corner with me be-
cause, as you know, they are certain black people have to depend on the whites in order
to make a fairly decent living, in order to get the publicity that they'd like to have,
4 K rI- o /i
se brtbe them=w4lt publicity you know and not from doing it, not to make, get results
but I've always said results ____
I: Lack of cooperation from the state officials -- was it very important, fairly im.....
H: I did ot get the cooperation from the state of Florida, from state officials and it
wo4ked=in=various--'-yr/C 'i;- y because I tried to let the legislators know that there
was certain things I was getting done in this local government like $800,900 that we
mandatory given to the- ort because the-, 2 PUI)Oi() had more money in it,
had more money in this account than the city of Jacksonville to
operate the city. Then also we had the city funds bond and ort-____
authority out there on the International Airport. That was $800,000 yon needed to
operate this government with, that eye this year what I was saying' r&vi br
because f-rorla-tate said that they did not want to accept the $800,000
this year. But the law should be changed and make it acceptable, even though that is
not mandatory as in only providing if the city of Jacksonville sees that they need the
money in order to use it. That's one of the things, you know, Changing all of the
independent agencies and making an autonomy of government, make an autonomy of the
people who are elected. We don't have to elect our such is the
transportation authorities, the port authorities, the hospital authority, the elected
authorities. They can increase or decrease and no one has any
`4 -4 -',,, ,- i' I T' a
jurisdiction over them and I think that's worse than, th(/ee'// one of my
real points of being opposed to the .s = c.p.. ..
I: Lack of cooperation from federal officials.
H: Well, we had very good cooperation from federal officials and they sent their,..jy A down
Quite naturally we had to follow them. We were supposed to follow !h* ,i /,!/ .f't,-
page 11 /
H: / )-_: "f//o .-. ."/ / NAACP they is going
to file suit challenging the revenue forms that the' __state and
federal government because they are not following the guidelines and this was one of
my main reasons for getting, giving certificates out on the job in the equal opportun-
ity ) .d'i"( 1IV/ iF JJ' -.'l"/li because I know they are not following the guidelines
the federal government in revenue sharing,
I: Has criticism or lack of support from the black community hindered you in holding
office? What I mean by this is did some blacks not cooperate with you because they
believe you are only a token, a token in government and have no real authority?
H: Well, I would say that some blacks in the community didn't cooperate with me because
they were so tied to' the white power structure that they couldn't afford to cooperate
with me. Well, that's irrelevant anyway, but I hope the people of the community, know-
ing the progress that they have been able to make but not voting against the machinery
and voted for someone who would speak out for them. So people have a right to control
in the vote who they want and what they like. A lot of them made it important to me
because I was outspoken, that I was opposed to advantages being taken of people, but
on the other hand, it's hard to beat thepower structure. You can't beat people like
4h T r?2s- and(_ and various unions like the labor unions, and
those old folks _and you can't, it's hard to beat all these
people. They team up together on you pretty hard to come out from under that,
in office is irrelevant because it means __ __
H: Well, it helps me from being elected but it isn't in making my decisions
I: Do you feel that white people treat you differently from other officials or not?
H: Oh, no. They treated me, they treated me actually better than they did any other black
elected officials. I demand respect. I gave it and I-dmand it,
I: What services have you provided blacks in your district that they did not have before
you took office? Couldgive gise-us some examples?
H: Yes, tr /g, recreation lice protection, these were the things they didn't
H: Yes, trPahring, recreation,'police protection, these were the things they didn't
H: have. But they have them now.
1: Please rate how effective you think you have been in each of the following service
areas: police protection -- very effective, somewhat effective, or not?
H: Very effective.
I: Okay. Streets and roads?
H: Very effective,
H: Very effective.
H: Well, I would say effective to the extent that I feel like we should have an individual
who is able or should be, regardless of what color, creed or religion, and I think that
there are certain people that should be on welfare and there are a lot of people should be on
welfare because I know I have a quote,_ and I know that when
___e people on welfare will be able to get into ~vs/i pro'ec?
and then their husbands would be lost until they can get in and he would come in the
jsihlq U_/ which was, I say, was a something that made other
tax payers have to assume his responsibility to the woman. I just think that their
should be something done.
H: I feel I am very effective in really this is why I was fighting really the discrimi-
nation that was in the __ in employment because they were not
giving us the __
I: .___.___ ?
H: Oh, yes, When I was chairman of that _...... committee and I would say we got
more in recreation this year than we ever had in the past twenty years,
1: Do you feel that eventually, ,__
H: I have-to. I h-ave-te if the city of Jaconsville, with it's present administration,
and I think it is more of a personality clash, more
than / 15 (. black people in government. The first person who led that
H: -/O[)r 9- was John Lanahan, the st-ate=Tca g--Es an, not the
was the same person who was serving on the council back there in 1960 who, in turn,
made one of the motions, because it to keep. the blacks from
having the right to use it. So he is still doing the same game. At that time it was
the whites B AgatBeh blacks, but now it's the haves versus the have-nots.
H: are the things that have been very successful there
because they have y .','. '/ ; .-that comes from out of our tax
basis. They pick up the water, then pick up the sewage and then with the garbage.
Of course, I think, they are going too far as far as the sewer and the water is con-
cerned because you know at one time we was getting 1200 cubic feet of water for only
1. But they reduced it from 1200 to 800 and now they will reduce it from 800 to 300
and they will charge us $7.50 if-we--a- ogingj to- k-ep- the- water, so I think that they
are going too far, but=you-a d Me city government 'tra-ve--- se--eust-a-srmany federal
government as that 92500. We had a federal law in order that we should get that
the same thing cause they are due in &I' Of C( U.!-' o-'
It's just enough to make the little man help pay the price for the big man who can
I: why a lot of people are now starting to dig, build their
S-..', own well, because _
iJ H- This is exactly what's happened and I think that a lot of people should dig their own
, .' wells, because they're actively of their They
"i r,', make the little man f'- i:________ What they're doing about
-- -9I notway for a person to live and on a day ,
I: Health and hospitals?
H: Health and hospitals? Well, I think that's an asset to the community because there
are a lot of people who are sick people and they need medical care and they need to
be hospitalized because they do not have the money to pay for the insurance in order
H: carry out hospitalization insurance. You have to be making, have a pretty good income
in order to buy hospitalization insurance and that I
think it is essential that __
I: Can you tell me some of the problems that University /ip/'2 /9 -\ \r?
H: Yes, but I will say thatAone of the main problems of University Hospital is the
director of University Hospital, Mike Woods, and Mike Woods has received the
for a ten-year contract. I know that
and he's got some $50,000. When you get $45,000 ~Sctrl / $5,000 for
and I think he gets $200 and basically I believe that if they had another administrator
other than Michael Woods that, //)C ,:lI ':../ ,~-//o/n i_ '... I':".
I: Ecdu/oc27oK ^_
H: ( .- ''7 is a great factor in this community and every big community but you
know we have had people here who are qualified for the positions and they've all
to go out to but the best thing that happened to
us was that time we had our superintendent was elected by the people instead of
appointed by the .f/ =/, , al hsevuvca board members, But people elect people
Ir-^pin p P> 0 i/ c4
to have a voice in their government. They say fRe po+-cy out of
_when you have an appointed superintendent but you don't take it out
U/)till you've really put it in because this is where the controlling factor of the
community controls the quality. So education here, I think it has come a long way
due to the fact of increase in 1y-al'?c alc aiao si ta .-;tSVs'J .r..- -.. ,-
:s spend, it's for the public (COn/err and not from just
the appointed superintendent. We did not have any money that was spent for public
re- evre t qoill)
school C7'ir '?Cf7, until the tax base, until the reeva4utFen of properties in order
to give a just tax base throughout the state which became a states civ
If the state objected that_ that makes
every county contribute more money toward education than they have in the past and you
will find that education in the state of Florida will effectively grow and will be
to the norm of all the states throughout the United States.
I: Fire protection? ..., /, --
I..- *'*-"-**-/*' : - I _.
H: Fire protection? very good rescue squad here, one of the
best in the country. We have always as far as fire protection and I am
certain that it was good.
I: Were you able to get federal funds?
H: Well, we don't get federal funds for a district. It's federal funds for a sole
community. Federal funds don't go in to help a district. It constitutes the city of
Jacksonville as a whole, as an administrator/ ( '/ S'0C225 has the right to say
_____where the money should be sent. The administration, of course,
who sends the money, but no councilman has the right to
.1 C o)rc I b o6 d y l
spend any money. We all -~ A /\ but the city of Jackson-
ville is the administrator of all funds that Jacksonville so she is
the one who unless you can get enough councillers to
override his veto and is what he wants done.
H: that's coming from the federal government,
I believe we got more than they realized before, because
I asked the 1974-75 budget, I was able to get a
and they were __we were able to get that far
I: Have you as an elected official been able to bring industrial or retail into the
H: Well, no. we have not been able to bring a lot of the stores into our community. I've
tried on several occasions the shopping mall. But you just cannot
open a retail store by get these chains of creditors for they are p-+ ~ ed of crime.
You had race trouble here when they destroy people's property and you
burned down. So
change with his attitude. These businesses feel like they've got to be
better protected throughout the black areas, not only in Jacksonville, but throughout
this country, you will find a national chain going into a black
I: Do you think it's a related problem -- I know with something like the system going --
crime is mostly concentrated in black areas and___
H: Well, in the but they come in
area and the black people, they c bI c/ leaders t-he jump on and say
ichvlrge_ 0 b black people. Why don't you do this to white people? Dc on h-h
_her' h, you don't have the crime ___you have in black
and black people those who are doing are the ones who were
hollering about ___they're doing it because
tells me, go into a black area_ '"and tell the blacks in that area
I: Have you been able to see that blacks are hirecfairly, have you been able to see that
blacks are hired fairly in local government?
H: when I served on the council. Blacks
were not being hired _______________for blacks to
be hired and .. '.' held the position and he'd have
to do whatever do because he was hired by the man
you don't have someone there who is economically _
you'll always have this problem _
I: Have there been any black protests, sit-ins, boycotts or riots in your city in the
last ten years,
H: Yes. There have been riots in the last ten years and I think the =Frts are very foolish
because they are attacking their
and not be harassed and not by others
3}Krj, I: What about cases where black women are being raped by policemen?
H: Well, I've heard that to be a fact, I know of one, there was two to be a fact, and
they discharged those men from the police force, which is what they should have done,
''t P~ p ~ r~ -t 0 r+ sP a -rw t-heL
but I don't tell that often, not in this community. un-r/,'cr ray / tGfey.
have to look at a man who commits a crim regardless of whether he is a policeman or
a jurv-r or whoever he may be. If he commits a crime then he should be punished by the
crime, No man is safe from the law, no man, regardless,
I: The following questions are asked for an assessment of black politics in Florida in
general. Briefly, what is your opinion of Governor Reuban Askew? Do you think he
has a favorable attitude and policy towards blacks in Florida or not? And what
is youropinionof other state officials and state representatives?
H: I would say Askew has been a very, very dynamic man. I think he has been very fair in
making his decisions. I think made decisions from the dictates of the cards and not
for.othe whims and _of the people throughout the state who might have been
bce l' A e h; (-
prejudiced or who might have had bigoted and- towards blacks. I thint,
he is one of the most fairest governors that we have ever had in the history of the
state of Florida. I think that Shevin is a very fine man, I think that Shevin have
made very, very fair decisions as far as opinions all he can give. The court makes the
H: final decisions, but I think Shevin has been very successful. Well, I hope he's suc-
cessful in running for governor, if he should run in 1978, but I think he is the
caliber of man that we need in government, the caliber of man we need to run this state
after Governor Reuben Askew comes out, Shevin, I think is a very fine man. I think
we've had some ups and downs with other elected officials and they came out and resigned
some of them did, but you'll find this in government. You'll find men in government who
believe in honesty, decency and integrity and you'll find men in government who believe
in their own personal se4tgm4n. And this can happen. It happened with the president
of the United States, like straight on down the line. But this is left entirely up to
individual people. You cannot elect the man because of his speech and say whether or
not he's going to be good or bad, You must turn around and look at his background to
see whether this man intends ...... fair performance, whether he has been honest
to himself, to his family, to his community, before he elected to office, But we seem
to elect people to office who are willing to do wrong things and not right. This is
just America. Why? I don't know,
I: What do you think about Governor Askew's possibilities of a presidential candidate race?
H: I doubt seriously if Governor Askew would be president of the United States at this
particular hour in the 1974-75 presidential elections, but I think he has good possibili-
ties of someday being the president of the United States bel"e I think at the present
time he would be a good man to be elected as vice-president at present time now. He's
the kind of king of a man that you need, He -Tave the mentality, the ability and he
have the character most of all, in order to carry out what he feel is right, He'd be
I: Do you think that winning and holding office in Florida has been worth the effort?
H: Yes, in some instances it is and some it's not. I think that you will have to have,
people going to be elected to office whether or not that you or I want them there.
Someone is going to be elected, but I think when neglect their rights to go to the
polls and vote for the ones that they feel is trustworthy of holding that office, then
the only Way for the other person get there who I feel should hold office, but the ones
H: who just sit idly by and say, oh, well, they going to do what they want to do anyway,
they're making a big mistake. We should be more interested in government.
1: Let me ask you something, about the possibility of counseling jobs and
going from there in the city. What do you think ?
H: I haven't the slightest idea. I told-her ri____
ih might, they might go along with him. I don't know. You can't tell those
SPeople like him because maybe he might do what they want done and
and he *ave a very good time___ power structure.
I: These questions are asked to compile an overall qrreM r profile of black elected
officials in Florida. No individual answers will be recorded. Type of office held?
H: Say what, now?
I: Type of office held? Other than councilman, have you ever held another office?
H: Public office?
H: No. That's all.
1: The date first elected,
H: That was /k / "7/,
I: The date that you took office.
H: 04/10/72)r -t- thi'n' I'f L )0r _
I: The number of times that you ranr-!.:iCr vi' ,
I: Your age?
I: Your occupation before the election.
H: I owned Hampton Service Station, Hampton Fuel Oil, and Advertizing,
and I owned Hampton r I~, .': 'r
I: Your education?
H: I have three-and-a-half years of political science at A & M college,
I: Are you going to finish?
H: No, I wouldn't need/ I would only be ashamed __
I: Here you've done so much. It would be a shame not to have the diploma after all
H: Well, I realize that, you know, it would be good for a lot of people, and I'll say
rather than having it and don't need is need and don't have it. But I think I've
reached .iW t rCY1/ xU_ Qq o Crr 3O r d -I o n 1'Qi a shl'
I: Alright. That is not a personal -- we're glad to have that,
H: Well, I was saying that it would be a prize for a lot of people who are depending on
it, for a lot of people and I think everyone should in turn go to school and finish --
I mean this is, I think that everyone should do it. But, no, I would say that as long
as I don't really see.
(GAP) fe&qTe going to try again.
I: The salary that you received from you elected position?
I: Were you active in the Civil Rights movement of 1960-1966,
H: In 1950, I filed suit against the city of Jacksonville to desegregate it's eoo-+seum,
In 1960, I filed suit against the city of Jacksonville and desgr-egated the coilsE~m,
the the auditorium, the baseball park -- everything iiJaAiaimm owned in
the city of Jacksonville. So I've been active in city work since I came out of the
service in 1945 to
I: I didn't live here in 1960. You mean that those covered facilities in the 1950s were
H: Sure. I found that through 1960, the police segregated everything that they owned
because they were all recreational facilities they
would build segregated.
I: To which church do you belong?
H: I am the chairman of the trustee board at-'. Baptist church?
I: Twas just going to ask / W n ('/ in 1 e cUrh,
I: Are there other community organizations or activities that you are involved in -i%
H: I am president of the Duval county Citizens for Cooperation; the first vice-president
of the W Club; I am chariman of the Youth Environment Committee of the American Red
Cross; I am ___of the Northeast Council -- hell! I can't.remember it
allA-- I'll have to give you a resume here .......
I: I think that pretty much finishes up what we wanted to ask you and this has been a
+-err r; 'i ir _pni r'i ,
real aasa -- ,
H: We 5 I n Uah,)05 i c.