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Roy Wilkins Discusses the 1965 Voting Rights Act
(WSLS Television, Roanoke, VA)

As part of a pre-debate interview at the Virginia Tech YMCA, the Executive Director of the NAACP Roy Wilkins spoke in response to James J. Kilpatrick's comments on the 1965 Voting Rights Act. Wilkins supported the requirement for city governments to petition Washington if they wanted to change voting precinct boundaries: "If they had been honest all along, there wouldn't have been any such requirement. But they haven't been." He dismissed Kilpatrick's denouncement of the inconsistencies related to literacy in North Carolina by pointing to the illiterate voting that occurs outside of that state and above the Mason Dixon line. Wilkins admitted that the formula must have "been difficult to arrive at" but pointed out how the framers faced the necessity of "finding some kind of formula that would stand the test of constitutionality."
About the film
  • Date: March 31, 1966
  • Sound: Yes
  • Duration: 01:20
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