Interview with Victoria Gray Adams
QUESTION 6
INTERVIEWER:

SO, JUST BEGIN TO TELL ME THAT. HOW YOUR ORGANIZING WOULD CHALLENGE AGAINST IN ‘64 AND THE IDEA OF FIRST SHOWING THAT YOU WERE BEING EXCLUDED FROM THE REGULAR DEMOCRATIC PROCESS HERE IN MISSISSIPPI.

Victoria Gray Adams:

OK, well of course you know the very next step after being, becoming registered to vote or, is to exercise that right to vote. And for those few of us who had managed to become registered voters, we naturally wanted to participate, to begin participating at the earliest possible time and, you know, wherever. So, you know when time came for precinct meetings and county meetings and all that sort of thing we were all set to attend, but there was all kinds of games played around that situation. The schedules and the places were always deliberately you know, misrepresented. You would get there and there was nothing happening there. Or in many cases people did actually get there and it was going on but they were not permitted to come in, pure and simple. They just weren't permitted to come in. And of course, we realized you know, even with the vote, you're not going to get any place if you can't participate in these meetings. And so out of the frustration of not being able to participate at the precinct and county levels, was born the idea of holding our own elections. And so we had to begin with the registration and we called it the freedom registration. And so we, we actually mounted an unbelievable campaign of voter registration you know throughout those counties in which we were active. We, along with all of the people who had come to support us, went out there and registered hundreds and thousands of people in the freedom registration. Once that had been, we documented all this of course and then following the freedom registration came the freedom vote, and we were satisfied ourselves at this point that yes these people we, you know, we are ready to vote. We do want to participate, and so out of this exercise grew the idea of the convention challenge. And a denial—