[Interview with Joyce King, tape 2]
Original Airdate: 11/6/1983
Item Type: newstape - original footage
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Visual: Christopher Lydon interviews Joyce King (wife of Mel King) in her home. Lydon asks Joyce King about Mel King's plans when they married in 1951. Joyce King says that Mel King started out as a teacher. She mentions his part-time jobs with the local Settlement House and as a street corner social worker. Joyce King says that Mel King enjoyed helping young people through social work; that social work allowed Mel King to see "the larger picture."
V: Lydon asks Joyce King if Mel King was a gifted social worker. Joyce King says that she and Mel King lived in the Settlement House at 48 Rutland Street for twelve years; that she also participated in work at the Settlement House; that she and Mel King raised five children there. Joyce King says that Mel King has the ability to listen and talk to people; that Mel King does not compartmentalize his work life and personal life; that he makes himself accessible to people. Joyce King says that living in the Settlement House can be very rewarding; that she and Mel King became very involved in the lives of others; that Mel King had established connections with members of the community. Joyce King says that Mel King is very committed to his work; that Mel King has a "mission", but is not a "missionary."
V: Lydon asks Joyce King about the controversy between Mel King and the United South End Settlements (USES). Joyce King says that Mel King said that his primary loyalty lay with the community he served, not with the USES. Joyce King says that Mel King was fired for insubordination as a result of his statement; that the community picketed USES until he was reinstated. Joyce King says that she does not have a clear memory of the controversy; that Mel King left the USES for the Urban League.
V: Lydon asks Joyce King about her experiences growing up in the "New York streets" neighborhood of Boston. Joyce King describes the tenements in which she grew up. Joyce King says that there were many white immigrants in her neighborhood; that there was a great ethnic diversity in the neighborhood. Joyce King says that she attended an integrated church and an integrated school; that there is great value in growing up in a diverse neighborhood. Joyce King says that everyone in the neighborhood was poor; that the families worked and played together. Joyce King says that families from the neighborhood have kept in touch.
V: Lydon asks Joyce King why Mel King left social work and entered politics. Joyce King says that Mel King does not see a great separation between social work and politics; that Mel King sees community activism as politics. Joyce King says that Mel King practices politics as an extension of social work; that he keeps in touch with the community; that Mel King tries to help people solve their own problems. Joyce King says that Mel King wants people to take responsibility for their problems and for the solutions to their problems. Joyce King says that Mel King is not a politician in the traditional sense; that many people do not understand that Mel King approaches politics differently than most politicians.
V: Lydon asks Joyce King about her relationship with Mel King. Joyce King says that she provides Mel King with friendship and stability; that they rely on each other for support. Joyce King says that Mel King expects her to criticize him and to give her opinion on his activities. Joyce King says that Mel King should have put more of his own personal experiences into his book. Joyce King says that her criticism provides Mel King with some perspective on his activities. Joyce King is uncomfortable with her response to the question. Lydon restates the question.
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