Interview with Jean McGuire

Now I want you to remember not to come into the present. Speak from back then, and tell me if you felt that what the Black was going through was worth it.


I felt that what took place absolutely had to happen. It may not have had to happen that way, if there had been a different kind of leadership provided by White Bostonians of all classes and all neighborhoods. However, once labor starts, it doesn't stop, and the baby must be born. And, there isn't any turning back**. And once you get caught up in the over-arching feeling that that aspect of the two-century long Civil Rights Movement, you couldn't step outside of it. It was in conversation at the supermarket, at the street-car, ah, stop, on the bus, in church, at the hairdressers', it was something that Black Americans talked about, "Getting our rights." We'd gotten rid of legal segregation. We'd gotten rid of public accommodations being segregated. We were fighting for access to jobs. Once the door is open, people pour through. You can't turn back the clock. It was worth every minute of it because you must go forward. I think that when you are the anvil you bare, and when you're the hammer you strike, and we were striking, and there was no turning back.


Great, cut.