Interview with Stokley Carmichael

Talk about the momentum of the march in terms of organizing Lowndes.


Well, of course you know, Martin Luther King is a great mobilizer. One of the greatest mobilizers this century has produced. And Bob Mants and I understood in contradiction with a lot of other SNCC people at that time, that he was going to pull out the strongest people as the march went right through Lowndes County, since the march was Lowndes County from Selma to Montgomery, Dallas County to Montgomery County, go through Lowndes. So what we did was, we followed the march—did not participate in the march—we followed the march and everywhere people from Lowndes County lent their lands, brought food, came out to greet, made some participation in the march. We went to those people, collected their names, sat down there, spoke with them, told them that we are coming after the march to do reorganizing, not just passing through. So, we followed the march, Bob Mants and myself all the way up onto Lowndes County, the end of the county line. By that time, once the march was over, we sat down for the first time with the SNCC organizer going into a county as terrible as Lowndes County, because Lowndes County had a population I'm sure of close to 85 percent 85 percent of us, and—