Interview with Marian Wright Edelman

What happened with Resurrection City and with your efforts?


That Resurrection City went away I think in disappointment, ah, it got mired in mud and got mired in politics, ah, but I think that the poor had made themselves heard. Washington was never quite the same again. It taught me the lesson of, of follow-up, that nothing does come quick, that nothing is one shot, that one has to do public awareness and raise consciousness but then one has to have a mechanism to keep at it and that one can't do a whole lot of issue so that out of Resurrection City and out of the Poor People's Campaign, the Washington Research Project was born, ah, and the Washington Research Project became the Children's Defense Fund and ironically we're still talking about these same issues today though the country has made significant progress. In fact because of the range of issues that was set into force, ah, with Robert Kennedy's visit to Mississippi, with the constant pushing of the Agriculture Department with the, the McGovern Commission on Hunger, ah, over a period of years, when President Nixon came in, this country greatly expanded the food programs, the child lunch programs, the food stamp programs, thanks to the advocacy of lots of people. But I know that the Poor People's Campaign now in retrospect played an enormously important role in making all of that happen.