Interview with James Bevel

All right, just finish that part about the fear of the adults.


The—when in Alabama in '63 the fear was entrenched because the people had come out of a social system wherein they had no way to redress any of their grievances. Lynchings, bombings, so that there was a tendency not to do anything that would aggravate or cause state violence to be upon the people. So, they had a conditioning, and so you had to get people who had not experienced all of that and who had confidence in themselves and in the—in our system of law. And the young people were susceptible to that principle that the attitudes and opinions of white people did not constitute law. That was simply tradition and custom and that we had to live according to the New Testament and the Constitution and if we did, then we would forge in law rather than having to live by the attitudes and opinions of the people, of the dominant people at that point.