East Tarboro Citizens League (June 1963)

A group of black citizens met in the office of Edgecombe Credit Union to form the East Tarboro Citizens League in June 1963. Tarboro dentist Dr. Moses Ray was the first and only president for the East Tarboro Citizens League, which grew from twenty founding members to more than 125 active members. The goal of the East Tarboro Citizens League was to organize Tarboro's black population to become effective in the electoral politics, job market, housing, and higher education. ETCL facilitated black voters' registration which increased from 400 in 1963 to over 2,000 in 1977 and was responsible for electing two blacks to the Tarboro Town Council, including Dr. Moses Ray who was first elected in 1965.

In 1977, North Carolina General Assembly cited the activities of the East Tarboro Citizens League that promoted more active participation of its black citizens in the political life of the community; developed better housing, education, job opportunities; and upgraded streets, sewage facilities and other public services in the east Tarboro area. East Tarboro Citizens League secured the appointment of the first black to the Tarboro Housing Authority in 1967. East Tarboro Citizens League spearheaded the establishment of United Manor Court (Panola Heights Housing Development Corporation) in 1970 for affordable housing for citizens of east Tarboro. East Tarboro Citizens League successfully petitioned Tarboro Town Council for black cemetery in the town limits. East Lawn Memorial Gardens was established in 1981. 

Black and white headshot portrait of an African American (Dr. Moses Ray) man in a suit.
Dr. Moses Ray, courtesy of The Phoenix Historical Society

 

 

 

 

Citations

Chandler, Marc, "Citizens group marks anniversary," Daily Southerner, Tarboro, NC, October 27, 1988, p.1. 
East Tarboro Citizens League 10th Anniversary Program 1963 - 1973. 
Edgecombe County Deed Book ECDB 446, p.253; ECDB 925, p.544; ECDB 1620, p.1039; ECDB 1621, p.727, ECDB 898, p.472; ECDB 1422, p.0525; ECDB 1536, p. 0205; Map Book PC1 / 58- B, PCl / 64- B. 
Harren, J B, The Carolinian, Raleigh, NC, May 29, 1965, July 10, 1965. 
Hill's Tarboro City Directory 1960, p.56, 60. 
Map of Parcel Number 473845984500 linked 
https://gis.edgecombecountync.gov/maps/default.htm
McDonald, Thomasi, "Tarboro political group," Daily Southerner, Tarboro, NC, March 24, 1999, p. 1.
North Carolina General Assembly 1977 Session, Resolution, House Joint Resolution 951. https://www.ndeg.net/EnactedLegistatton/Re-sotutions/HTML/1977-1978/Res…
Roberts, Cash, "Tarboro Citizens League is Cited for Its Role in All-America Quest," Evening Telegram, Rocky Mount, May 16, 1977. 
The Phoenix Historical Society, https://www.facebook.com/ThePhoenixHistoricalSociety/videos "Mayor, Moses A. Ray", November 14, 2015.