Interview with Victoria Gray Adams
QUESTION 2
INTERVIEWER:

LET'S START AGAIN. LET'S START AGAIN, OK. WHY WAS—WHAT WAS DIFFERENT ABOUT MISSISSIPPI IN TERMS OF THE CIVIL RIGHTS MOVEMENT AND THE MOVEMENT HERE IN MISSISSIPPI?

Victoria Gray Adams:

Well, the difference I…in Mississippi and the rest of the, south if you will, or the perceived difference however you would, is that the—it was a police state for all practical purposes. It was truly a closed society. The law enforcement agencies, the government for all practical purposes was simply not accountable to anyone other that [sic] themselves, you know. And for example, in my hometown, OK, I tried, I applied for registration six times before I was ever able to be accepted, and I was only able to be accepted after we had taken our registrar to court. And in fact all, all of my applications were used, you know, by the justice department in trying to have the registrar establish why, you know, I hadn't been registered in the beginning, if you will. And the reason for all this of course was in the state of Mississippi the registrar was all powerful really. And the way the laws, the election laws were anybody could be registered or not registered at the whim of the registrar. The requirements to become a registered voter was, you know, just unbelievable. But the requirements to become a registrar was just simply to be elected, you know.