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Interview with Wylie Branton, March 17, 1964

Part of Robert Penn Warren Civil Rights Oral History Project

Interview with Wylie Branton, March 17, 1964
Robert Penn Warren; interviewer. Wylie Branton; interviewee.
oral histories
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Wylie Branton was an American lawyer and civil rights activist. As a member of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), he pushed for the integration of the University of Arkansas and eventually attended law school there. He was the chief counsel in the case of Cooper v. Aaron in which he represented the Little Rock Nine who integrated Little Rock's public schools. In this interview Wylie Branton begins by discussing school integration and bussing. He describes the importance of quality public education and the relationship between segregation in education and housing discrimination. Branton explains the spontaneity behind some of the demonstrations in the South and discusses violence against civil rights workers in places such as Greenwood, Mississippi. He describes the results of demonstrations in Albany, Georgia and Birmingham, Alabama and describes the view of violence among civil rights workers and the precautions some civil rights workers take for protection such as carrying guns. Branton discusses Malcolm X's leadership and expresses the opinion that more people might join his movement if they felt that he could succeed. Branton also discusses historical issues and provides his personal views of the causes of the Civil War. He describes how American attitudes regarding racism and segregation have changed in a short time and refers to the discipline of Anthropology and recent desegregation legislature in Georgia. In addition, Branton provides his opinions of President Abraham Lincoln, Robert E. Lee, and Thomas Jefferson. Branton concludes the interview with an explanation of his view of the political affiliations of African Americans and their involvement with both the Democratic and Republican Parties.
Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries
University of Kentucky
Branton, Wylie--Interviews, X, Malcolm, 1925-1965, School integration, Southern Christian Leadership Conference, Civil rights movements, African American--Civil rights, Democratic Party (U.S.), Republican Party (U.S.: 1854- ), Busing for school integration, Educational equalization, African Americans--Education, Discrimination in housing, Civil rights demonstrations, Civil rights workers--Violence against, Violence in the civil rights movement, African Americans--Political party affiliation, United States--History--Civil War, 1861-1865--Causes, Lincoln, Abraham, 1809-1865--Views on slavery, Lincoln, Abraham, 1809-1865--Views on race relations, Anthropology, Civil rights legislation, Voter registration, Segregation in education
Robert Penn Warren Civil Rights Oral History Project
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