Alabama Voice for Black Voters Nationwide

W.C. Patton (1912-1917) worked for voter registration when such an activity put his life at great risk. A graduate of Alabama State College (now Alabama State University), Patton worked as an educator in the 1930s and 1940s, holding voter registration drives in rural Alabama. He became active in the National Association for the Advancement of Color People, service as Birmingham leader and state president (1947-1955). He worked quietly, with fervor, creating the Alabama State Coordinating Association for Registration and Voting (1952). After Alabama outlawed NAACP operations, Patton worked as NAACP National Director of Voter Education (1956-1978). In retirement, he founded and chaired Birmingham’s Police Community Affairs Committee, among other civic activities. Patton’s commitment to the electoral process–jury service, civic club leadership, voter registration/education–embodied a belief that he could only ask more of government if he participated to the fullest extent.


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