Interview with Senator Roxanne Jones

How did your program differ than let's say, Dr. King's program at that time.


Well at that time Dr. King was fighting about the right to go sit in a restaurant, the right to go to school, get a good education. Nothing's wrong with that, that's fine, I subscribe to that. As a matter of fact I had nothing but great admiration and respect for Dr. King. But again you got to understand these are welfare mothers who have been left as I said, by the wayside, to provide for their kids, to be both mother and father. And we're talking about having that food on the table for existence, they need to eat, and we have to make those decisions on how they can eat on the little money. Across the country welfare payments was that low all over the country. As a matter of fact, in Pennsylvania we ranked 27 low on welfare payments in 1967, 27 low, for the fourth largest city in the nation. So we were all bitter and not to take away from Dr. King's movement, we were a part of that movement, but we just saw our survival, we were talking about life, this is now. Yeah I'd like to go downtown and sit in a movie or, or eat in a restaurant, but what about not having the money to eat there. So we were talking about life, living. To me that was the difference, having the right to, to get a job, to be trained. You know, Dr. Wiley's slogan was, our slogan was, "Adequate training, adequate jobs, adequate pay". And I didn't see nothing wrong with that. And our other slogan was "Welfare's a right and not a privilege". And that's true.