Interview with Dave Dennis


Dave Dennis:

Yeah, the uh, we had a great personal relationship, there was no doubt about the fact that uh, Bob Moses was the leader, Bob Moses was the person. Without a Bob Moses in my opinion there would not have been a Mississippi project or Mississippi movement of the nature that it was, uh, but at the same time is the relationship was such there, there wasn't that jealousy, there wasn't that… When Bob spoke or said this had to be done or that had to be done everyone listened. I mean there wasn't uh, I mean he was, whatever was needed, among people and I think it had a lot to do with the, also that the, not only the personalities of people, and Bob affected that. He had a very cooling effect on people, you know, and I think that in terms of the closeness we all had, had a lot to do with uh, the Moses personality as we would call it, you know. Uh, the other thing that existed was I think it had to do a lot of the programs that we had that reached people, we had uh, we start the first Head Start programs, and we would call them Freedom Schools and we had uh, health programs, and uh with doctors in, and we had programs that reached all elements of people in different stages and levels that brought about a different kind of relationship to, it wasn't just one dimensional. And that too built a different type of relationship because everyone sort of dealt with the other person's needs, and that uh, in its own strange way, you know, brought about, you had all walks, we just didn't have people who had money, who was involved in the Freedom Democratic Party. There were people who had money, there were people who did not have money there were people who could read and write there were people who could not read and write. There were young people there were older people, there were males there were females. And that brought about a cross section of feelings, and interrelationships that sort of just reached out across the state. So it wasn't just the feelings that were what we had of those who were directly involved or the movement people per se, but the people who participated just as community people who benefited, or who just watched, sort of felt that charisma and everything else that flowed and I say it flows from Bob on down to others and through the workers on down to the people themselves is and so we all just sort of meld in together. I think the worst thing that could have occurred I think is, is that what happened in Mississippi is, we all left at the same time. 
 Frankly within a year's time the people who played those roles, leadership roles and things from our side were gone, and uh you cant' blame them though for leaving, you know, and I'm not making an excuse for myself either is, but there was just so much you could take, I mean, it was just uh, we just reached, you know, the end of the ropes as to much you could take at that particular time. Things changed, only shifted. And not only were we frustrated because we had put so much faith and confidence and hope in this country and then when the Democratic Convention and the decisions were made that were made we also that that was the country had said, I am sorry I'm going to tell you my most loyal subjects, most democratic people, you know, that we're not going to let you in. When that occurred is, it had a devastating effect on everybody, students went home, the Universities were never the same again. This country was never the same again, and never will be the same again as a result of that. This country had a Chance to make it, by saying that is what we're supposed to be about, let's take it and let's roll with it or we're going to just shove it back down their faces. And they chose the latter, and the country had never been the same. Locally, I mean internally and neither externally.