Author: Junius Edwards

Born in Alexandria, Louisiana, Junius Edwards (1929–2008) was an African American author of fiction. After serving in the US Army for nine years after World War II, he studied at the University of Oslo, Norway, where he pursued writing. In 1958, he won first prize in the Writer’s Digest Short Story contest for his story “Liars Don’t Qualify,” and the following year he received the Eugene F. Saxton Fellowship for creative writing. Much of his writing focused on racial problems in the American South. During the 1960s, Edwards worked in advertising, establishing one of the first black-owned advertising agencies in New York City. He published one novel, If We Must Die, in 1961.

Liars Don’t Qualify

Junius Edwards

This prize-winning story, published in 1961 (before the Civil Rights and Voting Rights Acts of 1964 and 1965) by Louisiana-born writer and entrepreneur Junius Edwards (1929–2008), poignantly recounts an episode of the latter. Will Harris, like Edwards an Army veteran, tries to register in his hometown somewhere in the South, but is given a hard time by two good ol’ boys, Sam and Charlie.