Interview with Rosie Mars
QUESTION 1
MADISON DAVIS LACY:

You were telling me earlier about being conditioned. What did you mean? Tell me about that in terms of yourself.

ROSIE MARS:

In terms of myself, condition is like when you accept what is, what is told to you, what is said, this is the way you're supposed to be and you don't challenge. You don't ask questions. Ah, you don't try to make a change you just go on every day doing, you know, or not doing, you know, you don't try to break away from traditional habits. That's what I mean.



MADISON DAVIS LACY:

Tell me again about what you meant by being conditioned and link it to the Washington campaign.

ROSIE MARS:

What I mean is about condition of Harold Washington, like when he ran for first term in office, I was conditioned. Ah, I got up one Saturday, a week before the election, [went downstairs and, ah, I started to cook breakfast.] I was all set to vote for Jane Byrne for mayor. And, ah, my radio normally don't be turned to a talk show but this morning it was on Operation PUSH.** So I was continuing my morning duties, cooking. And I heard Reverend Jesse Jackson speak. Then Harold Washington came on. And he spoke, ah, his issues of housing, ah, education, better jobs, the homeless. He, he spoke in terms of, of everything and everyone including the city and the people and so that's why I say condition. I was conditioned. I was not that type of person willing to make a change until that Saturday morning, a week before the election, OK. So I broke away from the condition, you know. And no longer will I be conditioned and this is what I be telling people, you are conditioned and as, ah, we move forward, they say, we're moving forward. You can only move forward if you're willing to break the traditional habit that was set down on you to make a change.

MADISON DAVIS LACY:

No go back. I want you to do it for me one more time. This time forget about the conditioning part of it and just tell me what happened that Saturday morning and I want you to end with how you burnt them biscuits.

ROSIE MARS:

OK, all right. A week before election I got up, went downstairs and, ah, I started to cook breakfast. The radio was on. And I normally doesn't listen to a talk show but this, it was on the station and it was coming from Operation Push. So I was listening to the, Jesse Jackson speak and Harold Washington came on the radio. I never saw his face. I didn't know who was running against Jane Byrne as far as color of skin and, ah, he spoke. So I sit down. He was speaking so clearly and for the all of the city and the people. I sit down on the couch and I went to listening to this man speak and what brought me out of this trance was my burnt biscuits. The biscuits was burning in my oven and I sent my children to the adult learning center in the next building to get literature on Harold Washington.** And, ah, I broke out of my conditional, ah, ways because I was conditioned up until that point, up until that Saturday morning.