Interview with Dave Dennis
QUESTION 12
INTERVIEWER:

OK, TALK TO ME, DESCRIBE MEDGAR TO ME, TALK TO ME ABOUT HIM AS A MAN, DESCRIBE HIM SO PEOPLE WHO NEVER MET HIM BEFORE BEGIN TO KNOW HIM.

Dave Dennis:

Medgar Evers and I were very good friends. He was one of the first people other than Bob Moses and others to befriend me when I first got here. We was tight friends and we did things together we would go out together, you know and uh go to eat together and things of that nature, and he was a very strong willed person, uh very committed to the movement. Who always had the fear, or feeling about death. And when I say fear is that he wasn't afraid of dying, he felt it was close, I mean from what he did on a day to day basis, he knew he was a marked man. Uh, but his commitment was extremely strong, and as a human being, you couldn't find a better human being. And he was more committed to Mississippi and the people as a whole than he was to any type of real organization. He had some very strong conflicts with his uh, with the, national office of the NAACP because of that, but at the same time he was a firm and strong worker for the National Association for the further Advancement of Colored People: the NAACP. Medgar was not a nonviolent person. What I mean by that is he, he wasn't one who felt that he should be aggressive but he felt that he should defend himself. And one of his reasons for not being willing to participate in a lot of things that we did is a, CORE people and SNIC people at that time, or COFO people was because he felt he could not be nonviolent. Uh, Medgar used to carry guns$ you know in the trunk of his car, or but for his own protection, I used to tease him about that too because, uh what are you gonna do with it if it's in the trunk of your cart how you gonna got to it if the guy comes. We used to laugh and he said well if I put it in the car and the cops catch me I'll go to jail, whatever, you know, or else they'll shoot me, you know, claim the fact is that you know, they, I had pulled a gun or something like that and so yeah, it was always in the trunk of his car and the last time, the last day of Medgar's death, he and I had some, both of us had close encounters on that day of different sorts you might say and uh he had, we had traded cars. He had my car and I had his car, all day and I had done, and I had used his car because I was doing some work in Canton, and I knew that every time I went in my car, the police would come and stuff like that, and uh so he had used mine and, That night at the rally they had, I brought his car back and Medgar told me that someone had attempted to [overlap]

CAMERA CREW MEMBER:

OK, CAMERA ROLL 348. OK, THIS IS CAMERA ROLL—I'M SORRY

FILM PRODUCTION TEAM:

EYES ON THE PRIZE, BLACKSIDE, 10 NOVEMBER 1985, TEAM B. THIS IS SOUND ROLL 1322, AND THIS IS CAMERA ROLL 349. INTERVIEW WITH DAVE DENNIS, CONTINUATION. LOT OF WIND. LET ME GIVE YOU SOME REFERENCE TONE.

[overlap]