Interview with Charles Diggs
QUESTION 11
INTERVIEWER:

CAN YOU GIVE US A WORD PICTURE OF WHAT IT WAS LIKE TO SIT THERE IN THE COURTROOM FOR THE DURATION OF THE TRIAL?

Charles Diggs:

Well, there was a great deal of tension. At the Till trial because of the circumstances uh, obviously, uh, the racial element, uh, um the community where the court was located is uh, is, although Mississippi is is a rural state, uh, this was a very, very rural community. And, um, um, they were not used to the kind of attention that uh, was generated by the Till case and uh, and also by the racial dimensions uh, brought in a whole lot of people from the outside, black and white, uh from the north, that uh, is, was always ana—an anathema to uh, uh, to the whites residents of of the area. And, uh, uh, the tension not only existed in the courtroom, but outside in the area across the street at the uh, uh, around the courthouse, uh, uh, people were uh sitting around uh, spitting tobacco and uh, and discussing uh this case and and its racial implication, uh, in a way that is pretty typical of that area at that particular time.