Interview with Stokley Carmichael

Why did SNCC feel it was important to go in Lowndes County?


You know, SNCC's decision to go into Lowndes County comes in the fall of 1964 after the Democratic Convention in Atlantic City where the majority of SNCC people prior to this had voted a decision, a political decision that SNCC would create a Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party. And this Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party would challenge the legitimate Democratic Party of Mississippi, would defeat them because of the blatant illegal and unjust stance which the regular Democratic Party took, at that time headed by Eastland, the racist. And they would march in the Democratic Party—there was a minority position that this was not correct—the Democratic Party could not be depended upon. It had no, there was no basis in fact on which to depend on it, neither moral nor any other position, but the SNCC majority position was this should [be] done. Of course in 1964 when the Democratic Party responded in the manner in which it responded and SNCC would not accept that response, the majority of SNCC people—