Interview with James Bevel

Let me back up just a little bit. You talked about the indoctrination of adults. What was the adult thinking, because I know that you had many of the black leaders involved with the demonstrations, but what did the population in general feel?


Well, they felt that segregation would probably be—in '63 in Birmingham most adults felt that segregation was permanent. That it was just that way. That was a permanent system. It would probably be that way that. The power of the city, the power of the state, the power of the Congress, the Marines, the Army, the Air Force, they see all that as alignments of power, and they saw it as an impossible situation. And so, most of the adults felt that nothing like that could change probably, except if Russia or China invaded and destroyed America, or something like that, but people didn't think that there was a force or a power within the country strong enough to offset something as entrenched and as reinforced as segregation.