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Excerpt from Oral History Interview with Howell Heflin, July 9, 1974. Interview A-0010. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007) See Entire Interview >>

Surprise at civil rights' slow progress

Heflin is surprised that civil rights progress has been so slow.

Citing this Excerpt

Oral History Interview with Howell Heflin, July 9, 1974. Interview A-0010. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007) in the Southern Oral History Program Collection, Southern Historical Collection, Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Full Text of the Excerpt

HOWELL HEFLIN:
'63. Things were changing nationally. Of course some people say that those instances helped bring about the legislation. But I would think that really. . . . My own idea as I look back on it, I'm surprised that it moved as slowly as it did. If I look forward from '74 to '84, I would anticipate that by '84 that with kids solving their own problems in schools. . . that in ten years you ought to have. . . the matter of race ought to be pretty well gone behind people. And there'll be other issues that crop up. Really, in looking forward that ten year span, I really, I think basically, the deliberate speed of the '54 Brown decision for 20 years was pretty deliberate. You would have expected it to move a little faster. When it came operative. Because everybody immediately looked upon it as being a period of. . . . I would not have thought that the Warren court or even the people like in Mississippi or Tom Brady who called you know and made his famous, what is it, Black Friday speech against the '54 decision. And all of those thought something was going to immediately happen. It took. . . . Maybe by doing it in the slowness that it moved, kept down much more violence than you might have had otherwise. But looking from '64 to '74 and saying that if I could go back and record my thoughts then as to what the future would be, I really thought things would have occurred far faster.