Interview with Gordon Carey
QUESTION 15
INTERVIEWER:

STOP PLEASE, THAT'S A WRAPUP WITH OUR CALLINGS, I MEAN I'M SURE THEY TOLD YOU THE RANGE OF THIS SERIES THAT WE'RE BASICALLY GOING, COVERING—THE FOCUS TIME PERIOD IS ‘54, FROM BROWN TO ‘65, TO SELMA AND THE VOTING RIGHTS ACT. AND, WE'RE JUST TRYING, WE'RE—I'VE BEEN THINKING ABOUT WHEN YOU COME TO THAT POINT IN 1965 AND SELMA'S OVER AND THE VOTING RIGHTS ACT HAS BEEN PASSED, IF YOU COULD PUT YOURSELF BACK THERE CAN YOU THINK NOW WHAT IT WAS THAT WAS ACCOMPLISHED IN THAT FIRST TEN YEARS OF THE MODERN CIVIL RIGHTS MOVEMENT, POST BROWN, AND WHAT WAS, WHAT WAS UNTOUCHED? SORT OF A SENSE OF WHAT WAS TO COME. WHAT HAVE YOU, WHAT HAD WE TAKEN CARE OF AND WHAT HAD YOU MISSED. I'M NOT SURE IT'S AN EASY QUESTION TO ANSWER IN A MINUTE.

Gordon Carey:

I think that the end result of the say ten years ending in 1965 was that on the surface we made a lot of changes, the nation would never be the same again, blacks and others would not have to go through the same humiliation about being rejected in public places, and yet I'm not certain sometimes that we really changed all that much. I can find places in North Carolina today where sharecroppers still grow up and live almost as they did fifty years ago, and you know the kind of freedom that was being sought wasn't something that could be just taken at any given time. It has to be taken over and over again. And I guess that in some ways, some of the big celebrations like the March on Washington may have been almost anti-climactic because what they did was convince people that the problems had all been solved, and now we can go back home and relax and as a matter of fact that isn't quite the case. You've still got a lot of very subtle problems even today, not only in the South, but throughout the country and they are very hard to attack.