Interview with Harry McPherson
QUESTION 7
INTERVIEWER:

So it's a year after the Voting Rights act, by 1966 what's going on?

HARRY MCPHERSON:

OK, let me back up a little bit. The Voting Rights Act of '65, the Civil Rights Act of '64 were the Mount Everest of the Civil Rights effort, the ascent toward justice in legal and political terms. That was the agenda of the Civil Rights Movement. That was the agenda of its friends. And it became the agenda of America to achieve those acts over vast political opposition was the, was the summit of our effort, done in 1965. Now what? Now you look at the reality of Black life in America after 200 years of slavery and oppression and you see that there is an enormous amount yet to be done. Doing it, what you do precisely is not very clear. And you are now no longer protected by the, ah, the all consuming purpose, the justifying purpose of the Civil Rights Movement. You, it's now not very clear to everybody how much the federal government ought to be doing. Ah, now, local politics, ah, enters and it becomes difficult to change things on the local level.