'Wicked Silence' - Winston-Salem Journal: News

Saturday, April 18th, 2015

'Wicked Silence'

State board began targeting blacks, but few noticed or seemed to care about program

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The Rev. John Mendez

Tom Lambeth

Posted: Monday, December 9, 2002 12:00 am | Updated: 1:23 pm, Mon Mar 18, 2013.

State Sen. Wilbur Jolly's voice thundered as he spoke at a public hearing in the legislature on April 1, 1959. Out-of-wedlock births were soaring and he had a solution. After an unmarried woman gave birth for the third time, he said, she should be sterilized.

A group of blacks was in the audience, and Jolly shook his finger at them as he made his points. "You should be concerned about this bill," said Jolly, a white Democrat from Franklin County. "One out of four of your race is illegitimate."

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