Interview with Charles Diggs
QUESTION 13
INTERVIEWER:

IF YOU COULD TALK TO THE, WHY YOU THINK IT IS UH, THE WITNESSES, THAT THE BLACK WITNESSES WERE ABLE TO TESTIFY AND THE INFLUENCE YOU MIGHT HAVE HAD ON THAT.

Charles Diggs:

In talking about the Till trial, one has to uh, repeat the atmosphere, this is Mississippi in 1955, uh, uh, and with a long history of uh intimidation of witnesses, uh, fear on the part of blacks to testify, in the racial situations in particular. And for uh, someone like Moses Wright uh, and and others to testify against um, white uh, defendants uh, in a situation like this was, uh, was historical. And uh, I think that uh, one of the reasons that they had that kind of confidence was uh, the fact that, uh, I was present uh, a member of Congress, uh, who obviously would, uh, relay his, uh, his thoughts and, and the images there to a much larger crowd. And the fact uh, that uh, national media was present, that uh, was going to uh, accurately uh portray the story of uh, of Mississippi justice at that particular time. In, in a way that would uh, would reflect uh, adversely uh, upon uh, the status of justice in that state.