Emory Harris among first to help blacks register to vote in Southwest Georgia

Emory Harris among first to help blacks vote in Dougherty Co.

ALBANY, GA (WALB) - Emory Harris, an Albany native, was among the first people to start fighting for the right to vote in Dougherty County.

Harris was recruited by the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee in 1962 while he was at Monroe High School.

Harris participated in several sit-ins at the bus station and restaurants across the city.

He and his sister, Rutha Mae Harris, also sung with the Freedom Singers.

While he was working to register black people to vote, Harris said he faced opposition from both sides.

“Oh yeah, we got that from white people and black people," Harris recalled. "You know black people were scared back then. So we went to doors and knocked on doors all day and to the night and we asked people hey y’all need to register and vote.”

Harris traveled throughout the south and at one point went to jail in Albany for his work with the movement.

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