Interview with Marion Barry
QUESTION 2
INTERVIEWER:

CAN YOU TELL ME ABOUT THE ANY OF THE EARLY ORGANIZING IN NASHVILLE? HAD YOU DONE ANY PRE-ORGANIZING BEFORE THE SIT IN MOVEMENT BEGAN?

Marion Barry:

Well, fortunately in Nashville—I was in graduate school then. There was a minister by the name of Reverend Jim Lawson who was teaching at Vanderbilt, in the Divinity School, and in the fall of 1959 a number of us had been asked to go to a series of workshops on nonviolent direct action and frankly I didn't know what that was about. I didn't know—I mean I was more curious as to what was going on than anything else. But once we got involved with it we talked about the whole nonviolent technique of direct action and what we hoped would be achieved by that and we went to some workshops. We were pushed around, we were thrown on the floor and I, just, that part everything we had a number of discussions about why we had to think about being able to move in that area. This was before the sit-in movement nationally happening in North Carolina, just a Nashville group. In that group was Jim Bevel and Diane Nash and Bernard Lafayette and some others that I can't remember now who had come from Tennessee State, Fisk, the American Baptist Theological Seminary, and there were a couple of people I guess from Vanderbilt. There were some white students in it who were on an exchange from several colleges around the country who were at Fisk who participated. I think Paula Prawn[sp?] was one guy [sic] I remember—it's been so long, trying to remember all these things but that happened in '59, and that was before February 1st, 1960.