American Experience: Partners of the Heart
Breakthroughs: Protest and Resistance

Kwame Lillard: video | transcriptprevious 3 of 4 next

To be honest, I think in the words of Malcolm, we were hoodwinked. We got conned. We got conned into believing the solution of our movement was to get the right bill passed, get the right agencies funded, get the right person elected in office and get the right amount of credit and the right house in the right neighborhood.

And what we were doing essentially is buying into a fallacious lie that the whole movement was based on making us white. And that was totally unacceptable. It could not sustain itself.

It did not sustain itself. You can't give to that to a generation of people who are black that what you do is now we've sacrificed you to be white. They rejected that. You can only explain going from -- going from sit ins to drive-by shootings is it's a whole hellish disconnect between what we were sacrificing, what our goals were, and what the next generation has thought we were doing and what we thought we were achieving.

Obviously they didn't buy into it, because what we gave them was a right to be white. And they rejected that. That's why they got rap music. That's why they got gangsters. Some kind of way, the non-violent movement, the movement to change American laws should have said it's okay to be who you are and still achieve. And we didn't do that.

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