Primus King and the Civil Rights Movement

Primus King and the Civil Rights Movement

Year Erected: 2015

Marker text: The modern Civil Rights Movement in Georgia began on July 4, 1944, when Primus E. King, an African-American barber and minister, attempted to vote at the Muscogee County Courthouse in the Democratic Party’s primary election, which barred blacks from participating. King, a registered voter, was roughly turned away by a law enforcement officer. With the encouragement and financial backing of local activist Dr. Thomas Brewer, King filed suit in Federal court in Macon, arguing that excluding black voters was unconstitutional. The court ruled in King’s favor, as did the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, ending Georgia’s “whites only” primary. King’s challenge eliminated the legal barriers to black voting in Georgia’s state and local elections and set in motion a statewide black voter registration campaign that helped end disfranchisement and the system of Jim Crow discrimination.

Erected by the Georgia Historical Society, the City of Columbus, Historic Columbus, and the Georgia Department of Economic Development