Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Negro President by Year 2000 (1965)

The July 19, 1965 Delta Democrat-Times (Greenville, MS) ran a piece by Lyle Wilson proclaiming that by the year 2000, "there will be a Negro president of the United States, a Negro on the Supreme Court, [and] one or more in the U.S. Senate." The full text appears below.
Leftwing political realists in both major political parties are looking eagerly beyond the era of appointment of Negroes to high federal office to the time when there will be a Negro president of the United States, a Negro on the Supreme Court, one or more in the U.S. Senate.

Sen. Robert F. Kennedy, D-N.Y., cited the trend after his brother was elected president. In an address aimed at the emerging African nations, Kennedy said; "And now we have an Irish Catholic as president of the United States. The same kind of progress can be made by U.S. Negroes."

Kennedy related the political rise of Irish American Roman Catholics in the United States to the possibilities open to American Negroes, Sen. Jacob Javits, R-N.Y., was encouraged by the 1957 (Eisenhower administration) civil rights legislation to predict that there would be a Negro cabinet member, a Negro president or a Negro vice president by the year 2000.

Writing in the magazine Esquire, Javits said that as of 1958, the immediate goal of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People was to be the election in 1960 of three Negro congressmen from Mississippi and one each from North Carolina and South Carolina. NAACP didn't make it in 1960 but has mounted a continuing campaign.

Javits wrote that he hoped and believed that U.S. Negroes would attain the suggested political heights on the basis of practical political considerations.

"Once the (civil rights) fight has won for Negroes in the South their constitutional right to vote," Javits wrote, "and once they learn to take the full responsibility of voting, this country may well witness a ballot box revolution in many southern states."

Javits believes that 30 to 40 Negroes will be elected to the 107th Congress which will convene in January, 2001. He wrote that Negro leaders had told him that it would be possible to nominate a Negro to the Supreme Court in 1968 and that there would be by then a Negro member of the U.S. Senate.

Well before 2000, Javits expects a Negro to be elected mayor in New York, Chicago, Philadelphia and Los Angeles. He wrote in 1958 that he expected school desegregation to be completed by 1965, Javits calculations are based on a steady increase of the Negro vote for local and federal office under protection of federal law.

Another consideration is the population shift of Negroes to the great northern and eastern cities. A result of such a shift can be seen in New York City where the Borough of Manhattan elected in 1953 and re-elected in 1957 a Negro named Hulan Jack to be borough president, Jack, in effect, is mayor of the island of Manhattan, the one the Indians sold.

By now that important job is 100 per cent segregated. New York's commitment to politics on the basis of race and religion apparently has reserved forever the Manhattan Borough presidency for a Negro.

New York politicians see no harm in that kind of segregation.

Javits estimated that by 2000 one out of four persons in New York City will be Negroes, one of three in Chicago and one of two in Los Angeles. The political impact of that would be considerable.

See also:
Future Shock - Skin Color (1972)
Future "Brotherhood" (1976)


wlievens said...

This shows a pretty stark contract to most other posts here, in that the contents are quite accurate. There's a black Senator, and there have been others, there are dozens of black Representatives, and there might be a black president in 2008. New York has a black governor. Pretty accurate.

Anonymous said...

It's interesting though that he seems to believe the political power of Blacks/AA would increase with a higher number of Black/AA voters, but we'd still be completely devided by issues of race (whites automatically voting for whites and blacks automatically voting for blacks).

He's mostly right, it's obvious, but personally I like to believe race is becoming less of an issue as all ecthnic groups are starting to see we're all humans instead. Hey, I can dream...

. said...

Man, it's been a wild ride. From the racist theories of the 1800's to the atrocities of eugenics, then the transition into the pleasant myth that race doesn't exist and is merely a social construct, on to the discovery that race does exist in genetic terms but that nobody except for nutcases really care about it anymore.

If the author were told by a time traveller about how marginalized and uncommon sincere racism has become by now he'd probably dismiss it as unrealistic, hyper-optimistic lies.

Anonymous said...

Sincere racism in the United States has been marginalized, but by no means is it uncommon, among any racial demographic. What ivory tower do you call home, Bob?

Allen's Brain said...

I find it difficult to imagine that Irish American Catholics ever had as much difficulty with electability in the US as African Americans.

jeff n. said...

Not that it's entirely comparable, much less the same thing, Allen, but try telling that to the Know-Nothings or Al Smith.

But yeah, this is surprisingly accurate, especially given it's from about two weeks before the Voting Rights Act was passed, when there were only (says Wikipedia) about 100 African-Americans in elected positions in the US.

RichM said...

Regarding the last paragraph, does anyone have links to the actual fraction of the population made up by those of African descent in those cities as of 2000? I wonder how well the projections worked out.

Anonymous said...

racism might be comnon but I can honestly say as a black man it has little day to day effect on my life. Alot of white people have helped me in my life.

The population estimates for NY and Chicago seem right. The one for LA was way off I think it's like 8 percent black. LA became a Mexican city and Compton has as nearly many blacks as LA.

VP81955 said...

It should be noted, I believe, that the Delta Democrat-Times was relatively progressive for a Mississippi paper of the 1960s on issues of race, whereas several of the state's other dailies of the time were beholden to the White Citizens Councils and the state's then-racist political establishment.

As others have stated, this is surprisingly accurate, with one notable exception -- it views things in solely black-white terms. But to be fair, I might have then as well; it was in that year of 1965 that changes were made in immigration law, and it would drastically change our society, making it multi-ethnic, multi-racial...even in the American South.

Phil Friedman said...

For those of you wondering, there were 37 black Representatives in the 107th Congress.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for sharing such an interesting article. He didn't miss the mark by very much. If Colin Powell would have agreed, we would have had a black vice president years ago.

Anonymous said...

Esquire magazine wrote about a black President of the USA in 1958, an even bolder thing to do than in 1965.

The article is online here:


Thank [insert favorite deity here] Obama will be our next President! There is a light at the end of the tunnel.

America is finally entering the future.