Interview with Marian Wright Edelman

I wanted to ask you about Martin's death, Dr. King's death because it was one of those things that caught us all. Where were you when you found out and what did you feel like?


I was in my apartment over on 6th and G Street, South East, ah, here in Washington, D.C., ah, I couldn't believe it. I was supposed to have dinner with Peter, my now husband, and with Judge David Bazelon at the Cosmos Club where women had the privilege of going in through the back door, ah, and, ah, that evening and, ah, I know I went with Peter to do it but I got up because I really wasn't prepared to sit there, ah, on that evening and have dinner in that place, ah, at that time, ah, and you know Martin, it was like a piece of you had died. I was angry. I was hurt. I was absolutely unbelieving. I still never can understand why we kill the best in ourselves, ah, ah, it never occurred to me that what he was and what he stood for wouldn't live, ah, that was the obligation of all of us to see that it did. And the riots broke out, ah, the fear that the smoke, the disarray and I remember going out to a school in Washington at my sister's and someone else's request, to try to get the kids off the street. And I don't remember which school I went to, ah, but when I was talking to a group of Black kids here in the middle of the riots, which were horrible, ah, to tell them not to participate because if they did they would be, ah, risking their own futures.