John Lewis:
We've got a history in spite of all the problems. In spite of all of the difficulties in the South during the past years, there's been a type of "I know you" type that did not exist in the North. Black people said in effect that we know white people in the South. We may live in a segregated society but we know you. I think white people in the South have been saying, sometimes they say, we know our black people in a type of segregated, they said it, in a bad way. But during that period I think the two communities, the two worlds, in some way come together. During the '60s we had a great period of confrontation which brought many of the real problems to the top and black people and white people started to deal with them. I'm not so sure that I made the statement in this speech but someplace, the Civil Rights movement has served to help in a cleansing effect, the soul and psyche of both black and white that you did not have in the North. We had it in the South. I think the civil rights movement in a sense was sort of like a religious phenomenon. This sort of strong, mindful, militant-nonviolent movement had a psychological effect over black and white. It brought out certain things that needed to be brought out. This period of confrontation, on one hand white southerners were shocked at some of the things that occurred in the 60s, that black people would stand up and that they would organize in this fashion. At the same time I think there might have been a sense of well, we knew it would come to this point. Now the attitude is that this will probably be good for all of us. People don't want to go back to that period of confrontation.

- 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.
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