From 1955 until 1963, the Negro people's attention was given to those things which most highly revealed the basis of their revolt. And the key word is dignity. The one place where it was clear that one was not being treated with dignity was in public accommodations, because they had to come up against this daily, whether they liked it or not. You had go in order to travel to the back of the bus. If you were in downtown in many, many cities in the South, it was an impossibility even to go to the toilet without walking ten or fifteen blocks. Or if you were hungry and your child needed milk, to have to go 20 blocks in order to get a bottle of milk to feed your child or to get a bottle heated. These were the high indications of the absence of dignity. And, therefore, it was logical that a revolt that was about dignity should be concerned with public accommodations.
Negro Revolution in 1965
Speech at The Center for Democratic Institutions
Santa Barbara, California - Autumn 1964