Interview with Harry Belafonte
QUESTION 33
INTERVIEWER:

Was the meeting right around thereafter the Riverside speech, you had a session in your home I think with Stokely and some people from SNCC and Dr. King. They apparently came to some kind of agreement that they weren't going to publicly criticize one another?

HARRY BELAFONTE:

That they would not publicly criticize, yes. One of the things that, ah, I think everybody became very sensitive to.

INTERVIEWER:

We're Out.




HARRY BELAFONTE:

Ah, in the meeting with Stokely and others, at my home, with Dr. King it was one of several meetings but this one was most fruitful in the fact that we had come to a moment now when whatever differences existed would certainly have to be, given the nature of where everybody was headed, would certainly have to be viewed more carefully and, and, every effort had to be made in order to hold discussions that would never make any disagreement become a matter of public policy or become a matter of public, ah, ah, concern. Ah, we were too vulnerable, the issue of the war, the issue of the movement itself, civil rights, the issue of the Poor People's Campaign, all of America was up for grabs. Because by this time, although all of these Black institutions were beginning to play even more powerful roles than they had in the beginning, one has to also look at the fact the White movement in this country, the women's movement, the labor movement, the peace movement, all of those movements were now beginning to find a new day for their own objectives. They were beginning to find courage and platform and, and reason and, and spokespeople for their cause so that this country was in a, in a huge mobilization on all levels including environmentalists, not the least of which. So that the, the opportunity to bring coalitions together, to make people come together and maybe at the end of all of this, we an iron out differences and, and treat this thing as, as often done, there was a tremendous energy being put forth and it was at that meeting, ah, right after this that, ah, SNCC and, and Dr. King and, and SCLC had agreed that there would be a moratorium on differences, ah, and that that they became so crucial that there would a, a conscious effort at coming together to discuss these things before they would erupt.