Interview with Charles Diggs
QUESTION 31
INTERVIEWER:

UM, I WANNA JUMP AHEAD TO SELMA AND UM I KNOW YOU WERE SAYING YOU WEREN'T SURE OF YOUR MEMORY BUT IT'S BEEN GREAT SO FAR, SO A FEW QUESTIONS. UM, WHY DID YOU DECIDE TO TAKE A DELEGATION FROM COMGRESS TO, TO SELMA IN FEBRUARY IN 65 AND WHAT DID YOU THINK THAT WAS GOING TO ACHIEVE, GOING THERE?

Charles Diggs:

Well, er, many of these members of Congress had never been south before. They certainly had no um, real understanding of er segregation and and how it er applied to er um uh Black folks uh in in those areas. It was rather academic and so I thought that er their their coming to Selma at that time would would give them er a deeper understanding of the inequities er and the injustices that existed in uh in in Alabama and er and and and other parts of the South. Uh secondly, I I thought that the er the fact that a group of members of Congress er er would come to Selma, the first time that this had ever happened uh before uh uh uh would be uh an indication to er the local officials that er this matter was being er seriously considered er at the national level and that uh uh that if uh these inequities continued er that the Congress of the United States er would be er obliged to take, take action to correct to to correct those inequities.