marian wright edelman moved to dc in 1968
Marian Wright Edelman moved to DC in 1968 after working several years in Mississippi as a lawyer, activist and organizer.
In addition to working on the Poor People's Campaign & Resurrection City, she founded the Washington Research Project, a precursor to the Children's Defense Fund (1973).
Henry Hampton, Eyes on the Prize producer & filmmaker, interviewed Wright Edelman in 1988 and asked her about 1968.
"MARIAN WRIGHT EDELMAN: Well, 1968 was a very complicated year. And obviously it was not a good year. We lost Martin King, ah, we lost Bobby Kennedy, ah, the Poor People's Campaign went away in somewhat disarray. The country had not responded, we were, it was the close of the first era of the '60s, too much, too many Americans tend to think of the '60s as monolithic, ah, for me it was the end of that period of non-violent, ah, struggle to get America to see and hear its poor and minority populations and so in one sense the Poor Peoples Campaign brought that to a close. And it was the beginning of the second part of the '60s which was the Vietnam war, the more violent period, the reaction to the loss of leadership and to the violence of the nation that destroyed the, the voices for sanity which were Bobby and Martin during that period. And so it was an important hiatus, ah, ah, for the country. But I think it's so important that we remember, you know, the good sides, the struggle, the extraordinary leadership that was exercised, ah, under leaders like Martin King and Bobby Kennedy but with those ordinary women all over America, those ordinary poor people all over America who had faith and who struggled to make American institutions respond in a non violent way. And that is my '60s and that is the dominant view that I have of the '60s."
Quote source: Washington University Libraries, Film and Media Archive, Henry Hampton Collection
Photo source: Wikipedia/CDC Public Health Image Library. Public Domain