Interview with Rev. Ralph Abernathy
QUESTION 46
CALLIE CROSSELY:

She wants you to describe what the meetings with mayor's commissions were like and why couldn't the issues of boycott be solved in these sessions. C.T. Fitzpatrick said they kept agreeing on solutions and that black leaders, you were one of them, would take it to the congregation and it would fall through. And he maintains, Fitzpatrick does, that it was just a way for you to continue raising money. I guess what I'm asking, what were the meetings like and responding to what Fitzpatrick says as well.

Rev. Ralph Abernathy:

Well, the meetings with the Commission were simply meetings where we came together trying to get the Commissioners, of the three of them and the bus officials, to bring an end to the bus boycott. We were not even asking for integration of the buses. Our first demand was to have more courtesy on the part of the bus drivers, to eliminate calling our women out of their names and cows and niggers and things like that, and pulling off, taken after taking our dimes. And during the rush hours blacks were required to put the dime in the slot and get off of the bus, and they would often pull off without opening the back door for them to board the bus. And take the dime with them and often people had been, had doors closed on them, and they were dragged down the street a distance until they could get rid of the coat or the jacket,and so more courtesy on the part of the bus drivers. And the second question had to deal with the seating policy. Blacks would be in the rear and whites would be in the front [roll-out] and why ever they would meet that would be the dividing line, but—

FILM PRODUCTION TEAM:

Camera Roll 536.