The Higher Education of a Black Man Who Seeks the Governorship of Alabama

Nearly a half-century ago, governor of Alabama George Corley Wallace took office with the words, “Segregation today. Segregation tomorrow. Segregation forever!” A few months later he unsuccessfully tried to prevent the racial integration of the University of Alabama. Faced with a federal court order, Wallace had no choice but to step aside and permit black students to register at the university.

Times have changed. Today blacks make up 11 percent of the student body at the University of Alabama. And now a black man has announced he will seek the office held by George Wallace.

Four-term congressman Artur Davis has announced his candidacy for governor of Alabama. Davis is a graduate of Harvard University and, like President Obama, he is a graduate of Harvard Law School. Prior to his election to Congress, Davis was a federal prosecutor.

Davis will be a formidable candidate in the Democratic primary because black voters typically make up more than half of all Democratic primary voters in Alabama. But Davis will face an uphill climb in the general election. John McCain won more than 60 percent of the total vote in the 2008 presidential election in Alabama. Among white voters, 88 percent voted for McCain.