Interview with Harry Belafonte
QUESTION 29
INTERVIEWER:

Move you to Dr. King and 1967, '68, the war is escalating and the morality or the immorality of the war is now increasingly clear, being urged, I think by Stokely and the kids of SNCC. Do you remember him in that, beginnings of that, quandary then the moment when he decides to make the Riverside speech, when he comes out, and the reaction.

HARRY BELAFONTE:

It was being urged, not only by Stokely Carmichael and the kids of SNCC, it was also being urged by the Peace Movement, which was fairly large. The Peace Movement was looking for a central place in which to be able to bring its energies and to have it, ah, ah, propagandized, to have it understood. Ah, Dr. King became the catalyst for all of it. Ah, I just wanted to broaden the base. Certainly SNCC was very active in, in moving that campaign along. Dr. King had no problems with the issue, morally or ethically. But to him at the very beginning it was clearly understood. What bothered him was the fact that in shopping the information around for feedback he found so many Black people, for instance, who got all of a sudden, caught up in this wave of, of concern about the definition between, between Black, legitimate Black aspiration for freedom in this country and the question of, about our patriotism. That was a big, that was a very difficult hurdle. Ah, because the one thing that many people in the movement wanted to do.

INTERVIEWER:

Sorry.