Interview with David Dawley

Describe to me that porch in Greenwood and what happened there.


In Greenwood one afternoon while I was standing in the crowd, ah, a young man from SNCC was introduced, Willie Ricks. And, Willie Ricks talked to the crowd, then asked them what they wanted, and they answered, "Freedom now," which everyone had answered. Willie Ricks told them to demand Black Power. And as Willie Ricks went back and forth with the crowd, talking to them, asking them time and time again what did they want, "Freedom now" and demanding Black Power, Black Power began to dominate until finally when he asked what people want, they answered, "Black Power! Black Power!" in sort of a thundering crescendo, ah, of anger, of hate. An answer that seemed to separate us, Black and White. Suddenly I felt threatened, I, ah, similar to before the march when we came, it seemed like a division between Black and White, it seemed like a, a hit on well-intentioned northern Whites like me that the message from Willie Ricks was, "Go home, go home White boy, we don't need you."