Interview with Dave Dennis
QUESTION 5
INTERVIEWER:

UM OK, CUT, I'M SORRY, I CAN'T DO THAT OK IN, IN, IN ONE OF YOUR OWN EXPERIENCES, TRY TO GIVE ME A SENSE OF MISSISSIPPI AND THE MISSISSIPPI YOU WERE ENCOUNTERING THEN.

Dave Dennis:

Well when I came to first came to Mississippi after the freedom rides, um that was as a field director for CORE to take over the directorship from Tom Gather who had been drafted into the service. And primarily what we were involved in then was accommodating the freedom riders uh, who were still coming to the state for trials and for various political activities. Of my exposure to Mississippi at that time was it was a very tense situation, very hostile in terms of the uh police department and as terms of whites period. I mean there was a total separation of the races and that existed. You were followed constantly by the police department. Uh, you were harassed by the police department. You were arrested on, for any reason whatsoever you could think of to put people in jail. Uh, people were beaten in Mississippi and uh, not just in terms of people who were involved in civil rights activities, but there was just a total type of effort on the part of the system to suppress any type of activities on the part of people and discourage them. One way of doing that is, is that to keep people involved is there was a tremendous amount of harassment of anybody who associated with any people who participated in the movement and as a result of that aspect of it it was very difficult to recruit people on a local level for a period of time, especially in Jackson, Mississippi. I mean much more successful in getting people to participate uh, from other rural areas, like the cantons, like Macomb, Mississippi and places, Natchez and place like that is. Uh, Haddesburg, and others you know whereby you had people you could get them involved much more quicker that you could in uh, than you could in Jackson, Mississippi.