Interview with James Forman
QUESTION 2
INTERVIEWER:

JOHN LEWIS'S SPEECH. UM, WHAT DID HE WRITE AND WHAT HAPPENED TO THAT SPEECH?

James Forman:

Well, the, there were two speeches actually. We, we prepared a speech in, in Atlanta um, for him to deliver and you know on, in the march on Washington, we all worked on the speech and then, then we got to Washington DC apparently there was, there was a meeting the night before the march and some of the people were objecting to some of the uh, various statements in the speech and the next morning just before the uh march on Washington, this discussion was still going on and some, I think it was basically it was the catholic bishop that objected mainly to we cannot support wholeheartedly was the first phrase that was uh, um, in contention. And so after discussion, you know I mean we felt that it was, that it would not be very much to say, we support with reservations uh, because I really now, I didn't think that it frankly made that much difference between saying we support wholeheartedly or we support with reservations, but there you know we did rewrite the speech, there's no question about that, I mean but, and that you know we submitted the speech, but we felt that the speech was much stronger you know after the rewriting process and that it was really of course, in the words you know and that there were no substantive compromises or anything like that that we made with regard to the speech, um but you know the, the uh, I guess perhaps you know semantics is a very, very interesting subject and the different people, different words mean different things to different people and so perhaps some of the alterations that we made, you know uh, meant more to some people than they meant to us. I mean, but to us it was a stronger you know. There was no, there were no compromises.