Interview with James Figgs

I want to take you into Resurrection City to think about the same sorts of things, I mean how you felt and what you saw and what you were thinking.


OK, Resurrection City. And there you are, you're up in Marks, Mississippi, it's May 1968. Again a word picture, what was it like, what was it like being in a northeast city?


Well in Resurrection City, ah, I was, ah, not as excited that I had been when Dr. King came. Matter of fact I almost didn't go because I was scheduled to drive the mule that my brother drove to Atlanta before they loaded up, ah, the mules on the train. But, ah, consciously had made a commitment to Dr. King in Marks at that church that we would go to, ah, Resurrection City. And since he had been assassinated and we felt obligated to go. So we, we, we went to Resurrection City, ah, to keep a promise to Dr. King to tell the world of our problems. We, we got there, ah, we were excited about the tents. Most of the womens and, and the elder people were put, ah, ah, in other areas than those of us who could weather the weather and, and we went in the tent. And, ah, it was a coming together of all races of people who were poor and who had concerns for those of us who were poor. And it was exciting and we were there for two weeks and, ah, things was going well. Now we would meet, ah, somewhere between 9, 10 thir- 10 o'clock in the morning, had various sessions and with the different agency of federal government that we felt that, that could hear our cry. And waiting on the instructions of the leaders of the Resurrection City, ah, Dr. Abernathy, ah, ah, lieutenants. Waiting on instruction from them, where to move from one place to another one to, to testify before the various committees about the conditions and what have you. And, ah, we en, we enjoyed it, ah, we, we, it was it was fun. And we were there for business but we mixed a little fun into it, ah, you know, meeting people from New York and California and Detroit. It was exciting and, and the, ah, American Indians and the Chicanos and Mexicans and, and, ah, Puerto Ricans, ah, people with all minority backgrounds were there. We were excited and we felt that once we left, ah, Resurrection City that we had gotten the attention of those who we elected, ah, in this country to make sure that, ah, those of us who were from Marks and other parts of the country would be given a fair share of the American dream that Dr. King talked about.


OK now you told me--