Interview with James Bevel

You ever have a run-in with Bull Connor?


Yep, I, one day, we—I had been out on a demonstration since eight that morning 'cause the kids would come in, instead of going to school they'd come to the church, say about 6:30 on. And I started doing work shops, so I hadn't any food any water, so the police was out all that morning also. So there was a lieutenant, so I said, "Well look man, I don't want to leave them out here because, all these kids out here, so can I get some food off the truck?" So he said, "Yeah, just get in line with my men." So by that time, Bull Connor came up and saw me in the line and he started screaming, he said, "Get that nigger!" He said, "He ain't eating. That's the city's food!" [laughter] So the lieutenant said, "I told him he could get the food." "He can not have the city's—" I mean he just went into a rage and it was interesting, because that's the point at which he actually lost control of his policemen. That when he carried on like that, and the lieutenant was saying, "No, Reverend, you can have the sandwich," and Bull Connor was saying, "He can not have the sandwich," and Lieutenant say, "I told him he can have the sandwich." And it was like, it wasn't really between me and Bull, it was between Bull and his lieutenant. And so I said, "Well, Mr. Connor, if you, you know, don't think I should have your food, you can have your food back," and the lieu said, "No, you can eat the food." And it was like you know, something that simple and petty that the lieutenant was really, was really pushed in terms of seeing how petty he was and how negative he was about something that small. But that was to me a great day of confrontation in terms of he and his men, you know, and my eating the sandwich was interesting.


On camera roll 554, 50 feet remaining. Sorry 150 feet on 554.


And flags, Jim, it's all yours.