Interview with James Bevel

When you say leaders, who do you mean?


The NAACP people, the Urban League people, the AME people, the CORE leadership, and in fact some of the people in SCLC, like Shuttlesworth. They had problems with it because it, it demanded a new commitment. It demanded an involvement. It demanded that we become engaged in the confrontation over the question of the right of black people to vote. And I think that all of them was aware that most of the violence perpetrated on and toward black people was specifically for the purpose of disenfranchising them. So they felt that if we moved in that direction, we would probably reap a whole lot of violence—unprecedented and so I think that most of them was not willing to face that.