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Dr. King Says Segregation Will End In His Lifetime

May 20, 1962 - The Rev. Martin Luther King predicted today that segregation would be wiped out in his lifetime. He also accused President Kennedy of not providing adequate leadership on the problem. Dr. King, speaking in a television interview, said there was still lingering bitterness in Montgomery, Ala., where he helped win a fight to desegregate the bus system more than five years ago. However, he said there had been progress in other Southern communities. “Atlanta, for instance — here is a community where you have many people working in a very determined and passionate manner to adjust to the change that is inevitable,” he said on “Washington Conversation” on CBS-TV. Looking ahead, Dr. King said: “I believe segregation will end in my lifetime. It may end sooner than many of us are able to see. I have the feeling that within the next 10 years, desegregation will be a reality all over the South. That is, the legal barriers will be broken down at least in all of the major urban areas, and this includes the hard-core, resisting South.” He rated Mr. Kennedy’s civil rights record as better than that of former President Dwight D. Eisenhower, but said: “I do not feel that President Kennedy has given the leadership that the enormity of the problem demands.”

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