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Excerpt from Oral History Interview with Floyd B. McKissick Sr., December 6, 1973. Interview A-0134. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007) See Entire Interview >>

Whatever its tactics, the civil rights movement was about equality

McKissick essentializes the civil rights movement: it was, in all its forms, about equality.

Citing this Excerpt

Oral History Interview with Floyd B. McKissick Sr., December 6, 1973. Interview A-0134. 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

WALTER DEVRIES:
Well, it seems to me that the movement went through a physical or even a kind of violent period and then that ended. Or apparently ended. Now, something new has started.
FLOYD MCKISSICK:
No, it's not new.
WALTER DEVRIES:
It's not new.
FLOYD MCKISSICK:
No, it's not.
WALTER DEVRIES:
Well, what is it?
FLOYD MCKISSICK:
I mean, I asked you whether you had read my book. It's not new. The whole struggle is for the black man to become equal to the other man and each organizational movement might have used a different name. Some said, "Equality", some said, "Liberation," some said, "Freedom." But hell, a man is just like any other man and he's expressing the same sort mission that Voltaire, Rousseau and anybody else ever expressed. In other words, "Get your foot off of my back." Period. "And if by the time you push it one direction and the foot is still on there and you get two inches above you, you still can't stand up." So, you push it a little more and if you don't push to the left, you push to the right. It hasn't changed. You push until you get it off you. And you use the strategies that are available to do it.