Annie Graham in the 1950 Census

Annie Graham, undated photograph.
The Wetumpka Herald (Wetumpka, Alabama) · 20 Apr 1950, Thu · Page 6

Annie Graham was the only one of my grandfather Mershell’s five siblings alive for the 1950 Census. She was also the only one who never left Elmore County, Alabama. I have not been able to find her in the 1940 US Census. In 1950 she was listed as the head of the household, 61 years old, a widow and unable to work.

Living with her was her youngest son 28 year old Joe Jackson and his new wife 21 year old Ethel. Joe worked as a janitor at a church. He had worked 40 hours the previous week. Ethel was keeping house. All three members of the household were listed as Negro and were born in Alabama.

In 1950 in Alabama, including Elmore County, black people were denied the right to vote. Schools were still segregated. The bus boycott that desegregated buses in nearby Montgomery took place in 1955. Schools were desegregated in 1965, 9 years after the Brown vs. Board of education decision declared segregated schools unconstitutional. Voting rights weren’t won until the Voting Rights Act of 1965. Annie Graham died at 79 in 1964. She never had a chance to vote.

Elmore County. Wetumpka is the county seat. Annie Graham lived in Robinson Springs, a part of Millbrook, in 1950.

Below is some information about states rights. from the website: Law Library – American Law and Legal Information

States Rights – Further Reading

A doctrine and strategy in which the rights of the individual states are protected by the U.S. Constitution from interference by the federal government...

States’ rights were revived in the late 1940s over the matter of race. In the 1948 election, Democrat HARRY S. TRUMAN pushed for a more aggressive CIVIL RIGHTS policy. Southern opponents, known as the “Dixiecrats,” bolted the DEMOCRATIC PARTY and ran their own candidate, J. STROM THURMOND. Their “states’ rights” platform called for continued racial segregation and denounced proposals for national action on behalf of civil rights.

Desegregation efforts of the 1950s and 1960s, including the Supreme Court’s decision in BROWN V. BOARD OF EDUCATION OF TOPEKA, KANSAS, 347 U.S. 483, 74 S. Ct. 686, 98 L. Ed. 873 (1954), which ruled that racially segregated public schools were unconstitutional, also met with Southern resistance. Segregationists again argued for state sovereignty, and developed programs of massive resistance to racial INTEGRATION in public education, public facilities, housing, and access to jobs.

Other Posts about Annie Graham and Elmore County, Alabama

Mrs. Annie Graham – Obituary
S is for Possible Sibling, Annie Graham
Mershell & Annie Mae Graham Sibling Relationship Proved

Rosenwald School in Elmore County
Author Recounts Integrating School
Lee v. Elmore County Board of Education
Voting Rights Act of 1965 in Alabama

11 thoughts on “Annie Graham in the 1950 Census

  1. I was interested to go back and read your earlier posts about Annie and that you confirmed the relationship with DNA.

  2. Timely post about voting. We are currently voting in the Georgia primary early election. As a Black woman she never had the opportunity to vote. The flyer is chilling as it would not be out of place today.

    1. Same thought I had. At first I was going to just post the census information and then I thought that I’d look through the local newspapers for 1950 and that’s what I found. One of many such election articles.

  3. Wow, what a sad statement, which all those whites and blacks lived through…just coming out of the Civil War still but in 1950! Annie was serious for her photo, and for a good reason. She would never let her guard down! It makes me think of women getting the vote, and for some “asinine” reason voting for tRump. Yes, Black Lives Matter, and we better not forget it! With COVID having taken so many lives in the US, there are many who lost loved ones. I do hope we don’t lose the small steps that have been made for blacks and for women, momentous steps for them!

    1. I do have a photo of her smiling, but not this one. The Civil War had been over 85 years at that point and 157 by now. For some time stands still. For others, it runs backward.

  4. This is a seminal post. So much here: honoring the individual and showing people how to do research, and exposing a new generation to the out in the open purpose of sleazy, hateful politics of not so long ago and up to this day. This is perfect evidence to show today’s willfully ignorant just where their words come from and how long such code has been used. Yes, I’m on my high horse today. There is so much to do to wake the women of the nation and world. Thank you for educating us.

    1. I’m not doing it to educate as much as to honor the lives of the people I write about. But if the posts educate, that’s good too.

  5. I have not started exploring the 1950 census yet. Including the photo, the census information, and the newspaper clipping is impactful. Not that long ago … and some would have have us return to the past.

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