Interview with Rev. Andrew Young
QUESTION 35
INTERVIEWER:

NOW APPARENTLY REVEREND REEB'S DEATH PUSHED HIM TOWARD REALIZING THAT THIS VOTING RIGHTS LEGISLATION WAS IMPORTANT AND SHORTLY THEREAFTER HE ASKS FOR THE BILL. WHAT'S YOUR FEELING ABOUT THAT? WAS THERE A GREAT SENSE OF VICTORY IN SELMA WHEN HE GETS TO THAT POINT?

Rev. Andrew Young:

Well, I think President Johnson's introducing the bill in response to ah, Reverend Reeb's death was pretty much the way non-violence works. It works, I mean change comes through suffering, and we had anticipated that some of that suffering would come from us, ah, and ah, it… it was, I think the response that we expected. And it… it, well, it… it, we knew it was going to be a long time before it passed, ah, and introducing legislation didn't really mean a lot to us. I think the fact that Lyndon Johnson quoted "We shall overcome" for the first time, I think, put the President of the United States publicly on the side. President Kennedy had been privately on the side, but this was the first speech that was a public declaration of the support of the White House for the Civil Rights Movement, and we really appreciated that. We didn't think it was going to mean a lot, because we knew the situation in the Congress as well.