Interview with John Conyers

So did you find then that this was the right time to start this--the Congressional Black Caucus? Can you talk about the formation of the caucus?


The, the, ah, the Congressional Black Caucus, there was, there was conversations going on among the, the nine of us then that there ought to be some coming together in, in a loose affiliation. Ah, and, and I want to tell you that the, the Congress was far different, ah, from, from the way it is now. I mean people without seniority, if you weren't a southern chairman of a committee, ah, you didn't have that much to do in the Congress in those days. But, ah, Adam Powell, ah, ah, was, was, ah, actually, ah, the person that said, "You, you don't need a Black caucus." He said, "I represent all of you." I mean he used to tell me that every time we would, we would tiptoe the subject up to him, he'd say, "W- what do you need it for? I mean what's the problem?" And, ah, we, we said we were going to do this anyway--