Interview with David Dawley

Now can you describe what happened when you went to Greenwood? Describe for me the scene with Willie Ricks on the porch at Greenwood.


Before we got to Greenwood there was, ah, a sense of unity, a co- a sense of common purpose, ah, feeling that we were walking together in history, ah, hand-in-hand, Black and White. Then one afternoon in Greenwood, I was in a crowd that was listening to speakers from a porch. Willie Ricks from SNCC was introduced and Willie Ricks was angry and he was lashing out at Whites like a cracking whip. And as he talked, there was a chill, there was a feeling of a rising storm and the people were engaged in a battle like a Miller Lite ad between tastes great and less filling, you know. As Willie Ricks asked people what they wanted and they answered, "Freedom now," Willie Ricks exhorted the crowd to demand not freedom now, but Black Power. He kept talking at the crowd and when he asked what they wanted, they answered, "Freedom now," but more answered "Black Power," until eventually Black Power began to dominate Until finally everyone together was thundering, "Black Power! Black Power!" And that was chilling, that was frightening** since the moment of change, suddenly the, the happy feeling of the march was threatened. There was a new bus and the Whites were in the back of the bus. There was a feeling of division. I mean as he talked, as he talked I felt something was happening. I didn't know what--


We're out of film on that roll--