Interview with Wiley A. Branton, March 17, 1964

Wiley 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 Wiley 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.

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