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Excerpt from Oral History Interview with Marion Wright, March 8, 1978. Interview B-0034. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007) See Entire Interview >>

Tensions over lack of black leadership at the SRC

Pressure had been growing to elect an African American to lead the SRC, Wright recalls. The idea divided the Council's members, but Wright left before tensions boiled over.

Citing this Excerpt

Oral History Interview with Marion Wright, March 8, 1978. Interview B-0034. 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

JACQUELYN HALL:
I was living in Atlanta when Paul Anthony was Director, and knew he was involved with the Council at that time. I don't know whether it was before his appointment or before George Esser's appointment, but people had begun to raise the question of the need for a black Director; there was more controversy and questioning about who should be the Director by then, I think.
MARION WRIGHT:
Yes. That originated under Paul's regime. It was inevitable that the question should arise. I'm familiar with another organization that went through that same process, and that organization to which I refer now has a black Director, and the membership on the Board, I should say, probably would be more than fifty percent black. So as the Negroes began to assert themselves in politics and in business, they asserted themselves in organizations which were set up particularly for this benefit, It was quite natural that pressure for black leadership should have arisen. It was unfortunate that it produced some division or dissension, and I hope that that's passed away. I attended one meeting where tempers were high, but my tenure on the Board expired during Paul Anthony's regime. I suspect if I had continued after I had been present at a meeting where tempers did flare, I would have been more exposed to a display of ill temper and that kind of thing. But when I left, fortunately for me, I got out before that became too bad.