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John O'Neal interview, Part 3
John O'Neal discusses the historical legacy of the Civil rights Movement, offering his view that the "people make history" and that the legacy of the Movement is in everyday people instead of its leaders. He adds that by doing a lot of historical theater lately he has been afforded the necessary "time and distance" to interpret that history. Rogers asks about his closest relationships during the 1960s, and O'Neal answers by saying that his strongest Civil rights-era friendships are more familial in nature, and that these connections continue to afford him access. He names Ed Brown and Julian Bond as two of his closer friends, though adding that the latter has "low-roaded it" in his more recent years. He also names Lolis Elie, adding "there's something like loyalty and friendship in this provincial town." He adds that when he travels he tries to stay with "Movement folk." O'Neal continues that "work has a dominating impact on your life and not friendship have a dominating impact on your work... work has a leading role, and some people try to function as if that's not so." The interview closes by him mentioning how his professional work interferes with his personal lives. Note: O'Neal's interviews are interrupted throughout as he instructs his young children on how to file and collate his office papers.
Amistad Research Center
Box 7, Item 10, Side 1, Kim Lacy Rogers collection, Amistad Research Center at Tulane University, New Orleans, Louisiana
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