Interview with James Forman
QUESTION 24
INTERVIEWER:

DID YOU FEEL HE WAS UH, BEING WEAK OR NOT HONEST OR WHATEVER AF—AFTER THAT, AFTER THAT DECISION WHEN HE TURNED THE GROUP AROUND AND YOU DIDN'T KNOW ABOUT IT AND A LOT OF PEOPLE DIDN'T KNOW ABOUT IT.

James Forman:

Well, Dr. King was very upset with us, I mean because he knew that, that we didn't you know, we felt that the march should go forward. I mean but the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee attempted to block uh the double cross if you may use the term. I mean we attempted to always try to make sure that we knew that people would sell you out and that different things wouldn't go your way.

CAMERA CREW MEMBER:

OK THAT WAS A ROLLOUT ON CAMERA ROLL 590 GOING TO 591.

James Forman:

The uh, um, Dr. King you know, was rather upset, you know with uh, um, the Student Non Violent Coordinating Committee and it probably could have been because you know that he uh um… you know that he went ahead with the march, I'm not sure. But I mean we supported, I mean Dr. King broke with the federal government. I mean this is a thing that you have to understand that with the decision to cross the uh, Pettus bridge, the day that you call Turnaround Tuesday, I mean that there were some very positive things about this, I mean like one he called the Attorney General and said that the people are insisting that I march, OK, and that I'm, I plan to march, and we wanted to support him in that decision because we felt that this was a very important move that he was making that that he was not prepared to, to let any injunction you know stop him or other people you know from participating. And so, uh, you know we felt that he needed you know support. You know in that particular action and we attempted to try to mobilize people you know to to to march across the Pettus Bridge. On the other hand, I mean I think that it's important to understand that that you know, we in in demonstrations, OK, and in public actions, you know a lot of time people won't do what they say that they're gonna do, and so you always have to prepare people and you have to be prepared you know uh… for some, for activity like this. Um, but, you know we didn't, I mean I didn't lose any uh, uh confidence necessarily in Dr. King I mean because we've had these struggles, because, and to illustrate I'd like to give you a little story, OK, I mean, I mean like Dr., or Whitney Young came from the White House and Lyndon B. Johnson uh, asked him to meet with Dr. King and myself and ask him Whitney was asking us for, see, see Lyndon B. Johnson wants to know if we will support him on the Vietnam War, and so we, we pointed out to him that where we felt that he should not continue uh doing what he's doing in Viet—what he was doing in Vietnam. So he said well Lyndon is saying that, that he was with us on civil rights and we should be with him on Vietnam and so we had a long discussion. So I had a lot of respect for Dr. King, I mean but remember his position on Vietnam, and I remember uh, I mean it took a long time because we were constantly trying to educate him and work with him to take a position against the Vietnam War.