Interview with Coretta Scott King
QUESTION 44
INTERVIEWER:

SO, WHAT WOULD YOU SAY WERE THE MOST SIGNIFICANT ACCOMPLISHMENTS IN THAT TEN-YEAR PERIOD AND WHAT WAS LEFT UNDONE?

Coretta Scott King:

I think the sense of dignity that black people had achieved and the feeling that they had now a place in our society and, and they could be represented, because they had not yet registered the large number of people, but at least we had the ballot had been achieved, desegregation of public transportation, desegregation of public accommodations, and of course, we had, in a sense, we had desegregated the, the South, in many, essentially, in terms of the batteries, physically, that separated us. But the implementation of all of this had yet to be realized. The—there was also the lack of economic progress. I mean, with…with the barriers of segregation being eliminated, so to speak, legally, all the legal barriers were, had been eliminated, but there were these other barriers that would, would still keep people in a, in a form of oppression and to a disadvantage, unless something took place there. So Martin knew that at some point he had to deal with that. But we were confronted with a war: the Vietnam War. So he had to deal with that issue, and he spoke out, of course, on the Vietnam War, and then, because of the reaction, he sort of retreated a bit. Because people were not ready to continue to support him in that and support civil rights. But then, of course, in 1967, he began his campaign for economic justice, and that is what he understood was the final and great challenge, and that it would require much more from all of us. And he said, this is going to be the most difficult aspect of our whole struggle.