Interview with Marion Barry
QUESTION 6
INTERVIEWER:

IT SEEMS TO ME THAT'S VERY IMPORTANT. THAT KIDS NOW DON'T SEE THE NEED FOR NONVIOLENCE, THEY DON'T SEE HOW YOU WERE ABLE TO TAKE THAT. DO YOU THINK YOU COULD GIVE ME AN SORT OF AN EXPLANATION OF WHY, WHY NONVIOLENCE? I MEAN WHY DO YOU SIT THERE AND BE HIT? WHY NOT GET UP AND SMACK THE PERSON?

Marion Barry:

Well like I said, that's the only thing we knew in the sense that I grew up in the South and I knew that white people were tough. They didn't mess around and that from a law enforcement point of view they had all the control with the guns, and the police officers and the courts and everything else. And I guess you just come to the conclusion in this instance, in this situation, if you're going to participate in this way, ah you don't come out any way by getting up and knocking somebody down. I mean you can do that but at that time we were trying I guess to give a certain image that students could mobilize themselves, could organize themselves and they could do it in what's generally described as a peaceful, ah, ah nonviolent manner. Plus a lot of us didn't know about the other options that may be ah were around ah that could even possibly be used at that time.