Interview with Unita Blackwell

And how do you do that? Given all you know about those who have fallen on the way? I mean, how do you see yourself through all that?


Well, I, I, I've, personally have had, um, had to pray, um, as Fannie Lou Hamer used to tell me, I had to learn how to love, even the enemy. There's a difference between loving and letting somebody walk on you. Um, we used to talk about, um, that we were going to send these White people home that had kept us down all these years. We was going to un-elect them because they was sick. And, um, when a person's sick, they needs to go home and lay down. And that was a loving way of, ah, getting rid of some of the disease that America had. And, um, I thi--I think I learned to love in the midst of conflict and chaos. And, I was trained by my mother, ah, what was right and what was wrong, but when you get into the eyes, and look into the eyes of hate and conflict, you have to learn these things deep down inside for yourself. And, um, I guess it's a gift, ah, I choose to say it's a gift from God, that I had the strength to continue. Um, and I learned it from a lot of people around me with the determination, the groups that I worked with, um, in the early part of my Civil Rights days, was a bunch of students, young people, um, I was ten years older than most of them. Um, sometimes, ah, we would figure out, you know, I was looking at these young students, educated, laying their lives on the line, and that gave me strength during that period, of, of the early part of my learning. What is my political rights, what is my rights as a human being.