Interview with Stokley Carmichael

If you could say no opposition.


We had no opposition to white[s] participating in the Meredith March. It was a level of participation which we were concerned with. And that we were concerned that there was to be no white leadership in the march. Of course, here we were clear. The work in Mississippi had been done only by groups, by SNCC and CORE, actually who were in the forefront. And we knew properly the territory. The white workers which SNCC brought in in the summer project of 1964, before the march, were used and were placed properly in positions which would in no way infect, and we were very strong about this fact because of the inferiority imposed upon our people through exploitation that makes it appear as if we are not capable of leading ourselves. And this is one thing we were sure we wanted to stop, and secondly we didn't particularly like, not only in the United States, but all over the world, where white liberals without basis have a right to leadership in our positions. For example, you can look sometimes outside of America, and you'll find white people in leadership positions where there's no white base in the organization. So we were wor—political question. Where are their base? What gives them the right to leadership position? So, we wanted to work all of these out on the Meredith March. And they were worked out properly. There was no white participation until we got into Jackson, Mississippi, whereby at that time, for us the march had been finished. Our political work had been done. We released our struggle against them and we allowed the NAACP to come back. The Whitney Young was allowed to come back and speak. And I think even Walter Reuther, yes, Walter Reuther also was allowed to come and speak. Of course to be quite honest about it, the reason that SNCC did make its position that they could come back now was number one, for us the march had been finished. We had done our work through the route. And number two, they promised to pay for the bills on the march.


Talk about—OK, cut please