Interview with Marian Wright Edelman
QUESTION 36
HENRY HAMPTON:

How did you hear it?

MARIAN WRIGHT EDELMAN:

How did it hear it? How did I hear the riots?

HENRY HAMPTON:

No, King.

MARIAN WRIGHT EDELMAN:

King. I heard it as a rejection. I heard it as saying never, ah, in many ways, ah, I heard it with deep anger, ah, and in one sense one side of me understood the kids out there throwing the bottles and, and burning the buildings, ah, I heard it with a, I heard it the way Martin would have heard it. In, in some ways I heard it as saying, go on, ah, don't let it get you. You know, there's that old saying, about Booker T. Washington that I got in my early childhood, "Don't ever let any man drag you so low as to make them hate you." And I used to tell myself and I used to want to hate him. And when I used to see Cecil Price one day in court when Judge Cox sat him down at my table and I thought I, I realized I was capable of murder so one knows that one is always capable of the foibles of every other human being and only by grace does somehow one keep from being that. But the, the, the, but I was never, during the Mississippi years and even during the loss of King, going to let them beat us or prevail, ah, because my daddy and my mamma and all the old folk in my background and Martin King had told us that we were better, that we could, we could, we could overcome that, ah, that we didn't have to be like them, ah, that we could teach them something. That there was something higher, that we could win. And that winning meant winning inside, ah, you know those old folk in my church and again it's the same old thing that Martin preached, ah, they never cracked a book of theology or philosophy but the thing that they anchored us in was that the kingdom of God is within. Not in what you have and Martin didn't have anything. Nobody ever remembers what kind of suits he wore or anything else, but in what you are. And so in that sense that kind of inner anchoring.