Interview with Marian Wright Edelman

One more time. What was the year like and where did that leave you and/or the movement in terms of what to do.


The year 1968 was an extraordinarily difficult year. I mean we lost Martin. We lost Bobby. The Poor People' Campaign had come to an end without, ah, an adequate national response, ah, to hunger. The Vietnam war was becoming, a, a terribly divisive force, ah, and so the non violence which was a Black movement was ending and the era of violence in reaction to the loss of, of our leaders, ah, was beginning. And for those of us who were determined to carry on the legacy of Martin it was a time to regroup and rethink and get up and figure out new strategies, to build new paths toward the future, ah, to deal with the issues of poverty and deal with the issues of race that were going to be ongoing but clearly much more difficult**. So in one sense it was the close of an era that left us very sad. In the other sense it was a beginning which I think has led to a kind of new strategies of advocacy, to groups like the Children's Defense Fund today. And this country still got to hear if it's going to save itself for the future.