Interview with Harry Belafonte
QUESTION 36
INTERVIEWER:

Just with the--let's go back to the people of SCLC after the assassination and what happened after the loss of a leader.

HARRY BELAFONTE:

I would submit that, had Dr. King been given, maybe another three years. Let's assume that destiny who said, you're going to die, if it had chosen a time three years later, the movement would have been in an entirely different place than where it found itself at the time he was assassinated. I think that Dr. King in the Poor People's Campaign with the garbage workers in, in Memphis, was on a thrust here that was going to give a new and a much broader meaning to the movement, which would have required a more broad base use of people and a more broad based input from leaders on a lot of levels. So that the emerging group that inherited, ah, SCLC and other movements, and, and, other organizations, were caught in a transitional period for which they were ill equipped to do the task. Yes, there were still the civil rights issues to be clarified, there was still the Civil Rights Bill to be passed. All that was fairly evident. We had to take the movement however, since it had been clearly around the issues of segregation, integration and civil rights, we had to carry it now to its next logical and more mean, more dimensional place, dimensional level had not yet all been put in place. We were just in the process of doing that. Had Dr. King had three more years of refining the leaders and the people who came to be for all these diverse areas, the movement would have been, and the country would have been qualitatively different than where it found itself. Be--