Chisholm Interview clip transcript

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Thompson

Do you think that the new legislative thrust of the Caucus can answer this?

Chisholm

It's going to be a challenge.

It's going to be a challenge because the Black Congressional Caucus is now beginning to see and understand that we cannot function on our blackness alone.

We are going to have to function on our blackness in coalition with the whiteness that understands and wants to help bring about the fulfillment of the dream.

We are going to have to develop alliances with white congressmen, even from the South, because we need votes.

You can't do anything in any legislative body in this country, unless you get votes.

Unless we understand that we are going to go off into isolated enclaves of blackness or whatever kind of ness you want to call it.

We will be satisfying the kinds of emotional needs of some of our people in this country, but we will not be moving in the direction of trying to bring about help in some healthy concrete way.

I think the Black Caucus is now recognizing that this is where we must be moving XX our legislative thrust.

We can't be all things for all people in this country.

We have to realize if we want to help our black people, that we are going to have to be able to do many more things legislatively.

For the first few years that we've been here, we were trying to find out something.

We'd never had black people, in Congress and it was a new ball game for black folks.

We had to learn by trial and error and we are hoping now, that as the result of some of the experiences that we have had, we will be able now to pull back and begin to focus in the correct areas.

And that is legislatively.