Interview with Linda Bryant-Hall

Give me a sense of problems you had with Dr. King basing his movement in the church, as he did in the south.


OK. The problem with Dr. King wanting to base his movement here, in Chicago, only in the church was a big problem for us. In Chicago--as I said--there are people who ah, are very diversified. And, some people in Chicago didn't even believe in churches, didn't believe in God; I mean, they were avowed atheists; and, for someone to come in now and ask them to come into the church, ah, and follow his movement through that mechanism it didn't wash so well with a lot of people. Ah, and then too, the churches might have--in Chicago--represented something different from what they did in the south. In Chicago, the churches, many of the Black churches--not all of them certainly--many of them ah, had very close connections to the political machine. The political machine supported many of the churches. I mean they did so much as buy the pews where the people set. They provided the church with a store front. They provided the minister, in some cases, with a salary. Ah, so for him, now, to turn to the community people who had been fighting against this kind of set-up, and say, come and follow me. You know, it just wouldn't go over.


Cut. Lovely.