Title: Oral History Interview with Floyd B. McKissick Sr., December 6, 1973. Interview A-0134.
Interviewer: Bass, Jack
Interviewee: McKissick, Floyd B.
Abstract: Floyd McKissick discusses a lifetime of politics and activism in this interview. McKissick was a devoted civil rights activist before and after World War II, integrating the law school of the University of North Carolina and aiding students in sit-ins in the 1960s. In 1966, he took over leadership of the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE), one of the nation's most prominent civil rights organizations. Shortly thereafter, he left CORE to contribute to the development of Soul City, a town in rural North Carolina intended to showcase the economic potential of a new kind of community. In this 1973 interview, McKissick reflects on the civil rights movement and its legacies. McKissick held that African American leaders needed to find pragmatic solutions for solidifying the gains won with legal battles and public protests in the 1960s. One such solution, he believed, was to demonstrate the economic and social viability of a town free from racism: Soul City. In addition to considering broad themes of the civil rights movement and Soul City, McKissick moves through the interviewer's list of questions about race and rights, answering queries about busing, averring his support for the legacy of former Governor Terry Sanford, and offering one civil rights leader's evaluation of the movement and hopes for the future of economic and racial justice.