Interview with Hodding Carter III


Hodding Carter III:

Well, for those who even went that far, there was, which was essentially Dad's position, there was boycott. For those who went no further than that, there was sustained economic and physical harassment. I mean, Hazel Brennan Smith in Holmes county was something less than an integrationist. Oliver Emmerett down in Macomb. Well in Hazel's case, she in the mid-fifties suggested that unchristian and undemocratic forces were being used against a minister who ran a cooperative farm which included blacks and whites out in the country, and suggested the Citizens' Council which were leading this and the sheriff who was the focal point of repression were all simply outside the pale, and for that Hazel was put outside the pale. A very prosperous set of weeklies became a beleaguered and dwindling weekly which—opposition started an opposition paper. She was in many ways ostracized from the society. Lost virtually everything she had. Kept plugging away 'cause she wouldn't quit, because eventually some others outside that area helped her, but basically it's because she just wouldn't quit. I think if she hadn't been a woman she would have been dead. Oliver Emmerett down in Macomb, who was less forceful in the sort of the personal forceful sense than Dad or Hazel, nonetheless caught a lot of hell just for sort of talking and calm tones about what we ought to be doing in the state. It was not a great time. I mean for moderates. There weren't any liberals that you could find in the late fifties. I mean liberal in the sense of somebody who would be identified as a liberal on the East Side of New York. They just didn't exist.