Interview with Marion Barry


Marion Barry:

At the time I didn't. I don't think many of us did. Of course we didn't. I didn't, I'm speaking for myself. I don't understand the structure of the Justice Department and the FBI and the attorney general and all of that, I didn't understand all of that. And so even with the direct action side of what we were doing, we wanted to get the attorney general and the Justice Department in and try to protect our lives, 'cause we were in these tough situations and, but I now understand in retrospect that there was a major effort on the part of the Field Foundation, the[unintelligible] Foundation, to put money into voter registration. That the Kennedys had, you know, friends and influence in those foundations, and that there may have been some other kinds of agendas that were there that I didn't know about, and I don't think the people who were really genuinely pushing for voter registration knew about it. I think I, I had the vision and I—a tug of war was around us. It wasn't that we ought to keep direct action going because I think it was effective, and we all thought it was effective, and voter registration was just as effective and I guess we all came to the accommodation that it both ought to go on, that both could be effective, that both could supplement each other. That is in some cities or counties voter registration could be a good way to get activities started that would then maybe flow over into direct action around public accommodations. And at the time—