BRESLIN, SUSAN - INTERVIEWEE

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BRESLIN, SUSAN, INTERVIEWEE

Transcript of oral history interview, 3 October 2013.
Interviewed by Kieran Taylor, from The Citadel's Oral History Initiative.
Language: This interview is in English.
Transcript: 32 p.
Final copy prepared November 2017.

Abstract
Susan Breslin was born in Pittsfield, Massachusetts. In the summer of 1963, after graduating from the University of Toronto, she joined The Congress of Racial Equality (CORE) in Harlem. In recalling her time with the organization, Breslin talks about the intense work she performed with the TV Image Campaign, a movement devised by CORE to force major companies to use integrated advertisement. She also discusses the significance of the March on Washington in August of 1963, stating, “I think everybody who participated in the March on Washington—and they came from everywhere—walked away knowing they were part of something huge.” In her interview, Breslin further explains how CORE evolved through time, and discusses the ideological controversies that arose when some CORE leaders started advocating for separatism instead of integration. Her disagreement with CORE’s new leadership prompted her to leave in the fall of 1965. Breslin also shares her memories of major historical events such as the funerals of Malcolm X and Martin Luther King, Jr. She reflects on how her participation in the civil rights movement impacted her personal relationships, discusses the emotional quality of those times, and encourages her audience to find the issue of their time and become involved. Breslin believes, as she says, “Every little step creates controversy, but the controversy does not last. What lasts is the door that has been opened.” Later in her life, Breslin moved to South Carolina, and now resides in Folly Beach, where she continues to be active in local political issues.

A2010.023.14

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