John Lewis:
I think that Wallace recognized that black people are registering and that they are voting. In a state like Alabama, when in the early 60s there was only about sixty-five to seventy thousand registered black voters and today there are over twenty thousand registered black voters in the state. In many counties in Alabama you didn’t have any black voters in the 60s and now they have black elected officials.
Interviewer:
Do you think Wallace’s action is symbolically important?
John Lewis:
I think it is in a sense. I think the action of Governor Wallace is saying that the politics have raised. The politics that we knew during the 50s and 60s is gone. If it's not gone completely, it's on its deathbed. I think that's what it symbolizes.

- John Lewis, former chairman of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) and Georgia congressman

Interview with John Lewis by Jack Bass and Walter DeVries, November 20, 1973, Interview A-0073, in the Southern Oral History Program Collection #4007, Southern Historical Collection, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Click here to access the full interview.