Interview with Unita Blackwell
QUESTION 46
INTERVIEWER:

OK, EARLIER YOU WERE TALKING ABOUT THE THREAT OF VIOLENCE, THE DANGER IN MISSISSIPPI. HOW DID A STRATEGY OF NONVIOLENCE WORK WITHIN, WITH THOSE KINDS OF REALITIES OF DANGER, PHYSICAL DANGERS IN A PLACE LIKE MISSISSIPPI, TALKING ABOUT NONVIOLENCE NOT APPLYING TO THE STRUGGLE IN MISSISSIPPI?

Unita Blackwell:

I think that one of the reason why we use nonviolent[sic], SCLC was one of the groups that was doing workshops and things on nonviolent. And SNCC took it up, but we had some, several things going on Mississippi. We had the Deacons which was not nonviolent. We had groups here that was violent and nonviolent in terms of they said violent or nonviolent, if violent[sic] is put on them, that they would not take it, and that was the Deacons. And sometime, I remember I was speaking in Natchez and the Klans, Ku Klux Klan, surrounded the church, and it took the Deacons to get rid of the Ku Klux Klans that had surrounded the church, but we were in that nonviolent. So, we believed that this was a way, because violent on violence, and we didn't have anything like guns or nothing, that would ever be able to overcome the police forces of this state. And so we took on that, you know, way of life of saying we were nonviolent, so we never carried any weapons because weapons was a way for them to do worse than they did do.