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Excerpt from Oral History Interview with George Wallace, July 15, 1974. Interview A-0024. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007) See Entire Interview >>

Black and white southerners get along just fine

Wallace emphasizes the need for racial unity, and approaches the argument that black and white southerners understand each other uniquely well because of their years of proximity. He says that there were never confrontations between white and black Alabamians.

Citing this Excerpt

Oral History Interview with George Wallace, July 15, 1974. Interview A-0024. 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

JACK BASS:
Do you think the South has passed the North in terms of race relations? Many politicians in the South that we've talked to say that.
GOV. GEORGE WALLACE:
Well, I read where they say that a lot of times. But there never has been. . . . The black and white people have lived together so long here that they were sort of new in other parts of the country and sometimes it takes you longer to make an adjustment when you're not used to. . . . You know, because blacks have been with us always. And in some instances we probably have made some more progress. But I hope that as far as race relations in the sense of no more confrontations in places—which we didn't have in Alabama between races. We had confrontations in the courts and things of that sort—never happen again and that. . . . Our country needs to be unified. It needs to be strong because we got some enemies on the outside. This country's got to be strong militarily in order to guarantee generations of peace for white and black. I think we got to all have a stake in the country being unified and a stake in all people being able to prosper and improve their status, economically.
JACK BASS:
There were some confrontations in Alabama. Birmingham, Selma.
GOV. GEORGE WALLACE:
No confrontation between white and black. There were some police officers and demonstrators. But I'm talking about a group of whites over here and a group of blacks over here. Having to keep them apart. That didn't happen in Alabama.