Interview with Marion Barry
QUESTION 5
INTERVIEWER:

CAN YOU GIVE ME A KIND OF A PERSONALIZED ACCOUNT OF HOW IT FELT TO BE SITTING AT A LUNCH COUNTER AND BE WORRIED ABOUT SOMEBODY GOING TO THROW KETCHUP ON YOU OR THE SISTER SITTING NEXT TO YOU?

Marion Barry:

Well you never know what people are going to do. I mean even though we'd gone through these dry runs, you know in the church somewhere or in somebody's house, they wasn't a real live situation where white folks and police, police officers are on your, on your case. I guess most of us, if we were to admit it, were probably scared to death as to what was going to happen there but we knew we had to do it. That it had to happen and so once you get into it then everything just sort of, just happens; you don't even think about what the next steps are except to try to remember when we went into the lunch counter when you know when white people would try to throw you off and then cops would come in and drag you and beat on you as you were arrested, being taken to jail, you know, to have twenty-five or thirty people cramped into one paddy wagon, to some extent was frightening as to what the hell was going to happen to you. So I guess if—if we were to admit it—it was rather a frightening thing internally but we didn't show that. We just went about our business and after it happened to you sometime, you know, you sorta just say it's what you got to do, and you go forward to do it.