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Northside has been involved in that rather delicate diplomatic
problem of trying to put the needs of our children and their families
ahead of the vested interests of any particular profession or group
of professions -- and it ain't easy.
A couple of thoughts come to my mind here. First of all, in
the historical context of the times when you first sensed the need
for a Northside type of operation --
-- Mamie. When Mamie first sensed it.
Your wife sended it. First of all, half that decade was World
War II, when there were some breakthroughs as far as civil rights
went, because of the need in the armed forces for manpower.
Then after the war, there was a retrogression of these rights.
What I'm trying to work around to is: when you went to work in the
field, did you sense the impact of this retrogression among both the
parents and subsequently the children you'd have to deal with?
Not directly. I guess Mamie and I did sense a passivity,
you know, that our task was not just to develop an agency but to
educate a community; that this approach offered relief. The community
tended at that time, more so than now, to look upon any psychological
or psychiatric service as, ipso facto, a stigma. But I'm not sure
that that was related to civil rights problems so much as it was to
general passivity. You know, accommodation to what is.
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