Interview with Dave Dennis
QUESTION 21
INTERVIEWER:

OK LET'S BEGIN TO TALK ABOUT THAT, THE DECISION TO BRING THE SUMMER STUDENTS IN, THE NORTHERN WHITE STUDENTS…

Dave Dennis:

Ok, Prior to the beginning of the 1964 uh, summer project there was a lot discussion and among the workers at times, as to whether or not we should bring in such a large number of white students. I think there were several reasons for that. Number one is, is that the uh, the possible danger that it posed upon uh, all of the workers in the community as a whole. The second uh, aspect of it was was that the uh we were getting into the transitional phase of the black power movement, it becoming very prominent at that time. A primary push by the Stokely Carmichaels, and others who were also part of the summer project, and the third thing was I think was that the uh, based upon the experience from our having other whites in prior to this time. We had a lot of them came in with various different degrees etc. And with the, saw us with more of a sophistication and the political structure development in this country caused a basic fear among a lot of the workers that we had who were local and who had not had that type of experience, most of their experience in the politics had been on the local level and those three elements, I think caused a basic fear, a hesitancy, on the, on the part of a large number, to bring in large number of white groups, Then there was another element, that felt very strongly that of course realizing these factors as being real, that the overwhelming uh results that could come from bringing those students in attention that it could bring up on the state at this critical time that uh the risk was necessary in order to do what we thought was necessary to be done at that time.