Title: Oral History Interview with William Patrick Murphy, January 17, 1978. Interview B-0043.
Interviewer: Devereux, Sean
Interviewee: Murphy, William Patrick
Subjects: Mississippi--Race relations School integration--Mississippi
Abstract: In the 1950s, lawyer William Patrick Murphy fought what he describes as a relatively understated battle against segregation. In letters, law journal articles, and in his constitutional law class at the University of Mississippi, Murphy argued for the wisdom of the Brown decision and against the states' rights rationale that many white Mississippians were using to delay integration. His support for integration put him under tremendous pressure from segregationist Mississippians, and after a four-year struggle to keep his job, he left the University. He describes that struggle in this interview, all the while downplaying his contributions to racial justice in Mississippi. This reflective interview will be useful for, among others, researchers interested in white southerners who sought to undo segregation.