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Excerpt from Oral History Interview with J. W. Mask, February 15, 1991. Interview M-0013. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007) See Entire Interview >>

Integration "took a good bit of the fight ... out of us," Mask believes

Integration "took a good bit of the fight ... out of us," Mask believes. He shares his concern about the complacency of young people when it comes to securing the promise of integration.

Citing this Excerpt

Oral History Interview with J. W. Mask, February 15, 1991. Interview M-0013. 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

J. W. MASK:
I get real discouraged from where I sit. I don't see the motivation, I don't see the concern. One of the last things that I would ever want to be would be a prophet of doom. I don't see too much happening at the adult or at the young adult level that is going too well for us. I don't. For instance I think that most of the people of my age and time we saw that we were competing with somebody out there and we were doing it at a disadvantage. We were almost fighting with one hand behind us. We would say, we just be damned if you are going to keep me down there. I think that is one of the unfortunate spinoffs of integration. It took a good bit of the fight and determination out of us. Some sociologists would challenge that statement and I would have to concede but I don't see it. I don't get frustrated but I get very discouraged. It is not a situation in which you dispair but it is not something that you can feel very happy about. I wish I had ten lives and I wish that I could go through. I would love to be involved in spite of the problems that they have today. I just don't believe that I couldn't make a big difference in the lives of a whole lot of people if I were situated where we could interact and where we could work together and I don't believe that people in leadership today, both in education and in the area of spiritual leadership, are concerned to the point of doing something and trying to bring about some type of change.