Interview with Joseph Azbell


Joseph Azbell:

They were talking to them in such a way that that these were trouble making preachers, troublemaking niggers. They never showed them the respect of being leaders of the community. In the beginning it was just a matter of where the seating was going be. It wasn't integration, or anything like that. But they wouldn't even budge over the seating line. I talked to King for over an hour and a half about the change and what it was all about, you know, and he said, Joe, I can tell you this: that we will do anything reasonable. We don't want to be unreasonable. We would end the boycott tomorrow if we could get some type of give. But we're not getting any give. We're being treated like we're down there to cause trouble. And they're just not giving us and he said this thing, is not local anymore. America, the world is looking at us. And we went on talking in his office in the bottom of the Dexter Avenue Baptist Church, which is now the King Memorial Baptist Church. But we had a long conversation about it and he said they just wouldn't give. Tacky, the mayor, that's what they called him, T-A-C-K-Y, and that was his name, he was of a very high type family background. Very wonderful man, and a good man, but he had a problem. His problem was that he thought Montgomery wanted totally segregated buses. And that line not moved. And that it would be his political defeat if it was moved.