Interview with Rev. James Lawson
QUESTION 38
INTERVIEWER:

OK, SO THE WHOLE IMPACT, THE IMPACT OF THIS WHOLE MOVEMENT.

Rev. James Lawson:

The impact of the movement of the sixties has hardly been recognized either in books or in much of the writing that I have read. The movement produced a new consciousness in the United States that in turn affected a coalition of political figures, blacks, poor women, civil rights organizations, churches, labor unions, student groups all across the country. As a consequence of that coalition, the Congress passed the most progressive legislation that the nation has ever known. Including for an example, what is forgotten, we have child-care centers and emphasis because of the sixties. Public schools did not start children in fourth, at, at age four or age five. That's a consequence of the Head Start Program, that in large measure came out of black folk in Mississippi. It became a part of the anti-poverty program of the sixties. The most far reaching and progressive legislation the nation has ever known in affirmative action, in the elimination of segregation, sexism, ageism, right straight across the board. Those bills were written in Congress in the sixties and passed in the sixties: health care, medical care and the like.