Interview with Stokley Carmichael
QUESTION 81
JUDY RICHARDSON:

Could you talk about that meeting with the Black United Front.

STOKELY CARMICHAEL:

Of course before the Poor Peoples Campaign came into Washington, D.C., even the press started its stupidity, trying to pose King and some of us in the city, in, ah, direct opposition to each other. The First Black United Front which was organized in the country, was organized by SNCC people, I worked on that staff there in Washington, D.C. And that United Front was organized just before King came into Washington, D.C. for his Poor People's Campaign. I remember his advance scouts were Jesse Jackson and Andrew Young. And when they came for the meeting I explained to them that we had a united front and that it would easy if SCLC through Dr. King would just come and present the program and it would solve all problems. They were both rather sure that Dr. King didn't have to come. Just among ourselves joking, I think it was Jesse who said, You know the Lord isn't coming to ya'll. That's what we used to joke, just a joke. And I told him, Well I'm sure he's going to come. Well of course he had to come before the United Front and in the United Front we had all segments of organizations from the NAACP--

JUDY RICHARDSON:

All right, cut please.



STOKELY CARMICHAEL:

The Black United Front had all elements inside of it from the NAACP on the conservative side all the way to, ah, forces that were advocating the burning of America. Consequently, it had the entire political spectrum. It was clearly understood that those who did not see that they could participate in the Poor Peoples Campaign because of its non violent philosophy should stay away from it. So the Black United Front gave a clear assuro,[SIC] a, assuro,[SIC] assuro?[SIC] assurance, a clear assurance. You know it's my French and English when I'm speaking, a clear assurance to, ah, Dr. Martin Luther King that those who did not believe in the campaign's, ah, tactic of non violence or its philosophy, would be no where around it. Only those who believed in it would come to support it.