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Skelly Wright interview, Part 1
Wright, J. Skelly
Rogers, Kim Lacy
The interview begins with Glenda Stevens asking Skelly Wright about his opinion to opposition to public school desegregation and he overviews the government responses to school desegregation in New Orleans. He describes preparations made, including an influx of U. S. Marshals into a twenty-mile radius of New Orleans, and he explains how he met with Marshals the morning the children were first set to enter previously all-White schools. He explains how local police attempted to prevent U. S. Marshals from entering the targeted schools and adds that the White Citizens' Council's agitation included leaders of White New Orleans and served as a significant force of opposition against the federal decree. Wright explains how achieving equality for African Americans has been a multi-decades process, including the Civil War and subsequent constitutional amendments. He discusses the Supreme Court's decision in Brown v. Board, which allowed them to "pay full respect to the outcome of the Civil War." Stevens asks Wright about his most important judicial decision while he was in New Orleans, and he answers that Bush v. Orleans served as a precursor to desegregation in Little Rock in that it provided a test for how federal courts could enforce the Brown decision. Stevens asks Wright to characterize the Louisiana State Legislature during his time as a judge. He describes the legislature as a unified voice supporting segregation, aside from the occasional vocalized dissent of Moon Landrieu. Note: Glenda Stevens begins the interview by explaining that she is filling in for Kim Lacy Rogers, who had to leave town and was unable to conduct the interview.
Amistad Research Center
Box 8, Item 23, Side 1, Kim Lacy Rogers collection, Amistad Research Center at Tulane University, New Orleans, Louisiana
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