Ruth Turner

Turner discusses the reasons she decided to leave teaching and devote herself fully to CORE (Congress on Racial Equality). She states that events in Birmingham had a profound effect on her decision. Turner Describes the role of the “white committed” in the civil rights movement. She explains her views on why blacks in Cleveland are not organized as they are in some southern cities. Turner states that the situation in Cleveland is just as precarious as the South, but Cleveland looks better on the surface. Turner also explains that her parents and the parents and grandparents of other civil rights workers helped to propel the civil rights movement forward. She describes the struggle between African Americans and other minorities, such as Italians, in Cleveland. She mentions school integration and her belief that it is as important to look at the quality of education as it is to look at integration. David Cohen, a white CORE worker who teaches history at Cleveland’s Case Institute of Technology, joins the interview late in the conversation. He describes the poverty experienced by many blacks in Cleveland and explains that social, economic, and legislative changes are needed to fulfill the goals of the civil rights movement.