Jerome Gray, Oral History

Dublin Core


Jerome Gray, Oral History


Candidacy of Jesse Jackson


Jerome Gray discusses the support of the Alabama Democratic Convention for Jesse Jackson, and the candidacy of Barack Obama.


Bob Friedman
Jerome Gray


August 02, 2008





Oral History Item Type Metadata


Bob Friedman


Jerome Gray


WJLD, Birmingham, Alabama


JG: ...Well in 84’ no question Jesse Jackson was acceptable. He did not have a track record as an elected official but he had track record as an activist and advocate for our issues. The electability question was the thing that loomed large in ADC but one of the things I did then as state field director I polled our members our leaders from round the state because I said to Joe Reed at least we need to find out what people are thinking before we go to the convention and I polled our delegation our members around the state and the majority of them members who found Jesse Jackson acceptable did not think he was electable in 1984 and pretty much that’s how it split out you know in the vote but at least people at the opportunity to discuss and debate and the decision before the recommendation was made to endorse Mondale but even though we took the position that we would support Mondale because of his acceptability and what we thought then was his electability and track record. Mondale only carried one state in 84’, Minnesota and he carried Washington, DC the District of Columbia so Jesse couldn’t have done much worse than Mondale did..

B: How’d..

JG: Even though Mondale had been the Vice President..

B: How about that..

JG: Since that time the Alabama Democratic Conference has supported other candidates for President..

B: Did they support..

JG: Al Gore..

B: Reverend Jackson..

JG: John Kerry, Michael Dukakis. They all lost.

B: Yeah did they support Reverend Jackson in 88’?

JG: We did support Reverend Jackson in 88’. But I was mentioning the fact that the others we had supported other white candidates since 84’ who did not win but we did support Jesse Jackson in 88’ as an organization and he ran well in the south but he did not win nationwide but the thing that got my attention was Barack Obama. The first quarter after he announced his candidacy. He raised more money in one quarter than Jesse Jackson raised during his whole run for President. And so that got my attention when I saw how competitive was right out of the block against the Clintons.

Original Format



Jerome Gray  2 minute snippet.mp3


Bob Friedman and Jerome Gray, “Jerome Gray, Oral History,” The Birmingham Black Radio Museum, accessed January 19, 2018,

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