Interview with James Forman
QUESTION 5
INTERVIEWER:

WE'LL STOP YOU, BECAUSE YOU'RE HEADING TOWARD IT BUT… I REALLY WANT, FOR A PERSON WHO HAS NO IDEA… WOULD YOU STOP? I'M SORRY.

James Forman:

Well, the representatives of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee were attempting to make the march work. We wanted to make sure that no one left the march, especially the uh, Roman Catholic representatives. We wanted to try to meet whatever objections that they had to the speech. And as we were attempting to do this, A. Philip Randolph was there, I mean for instance someone to give you, uh, uh, someone objected to say, he has in his speech, he has the word masses and revolutions so A. Philip Randolph said there's nothing wrong with those two words, I mean he does not have to you know, those words don't have to be changed, because I used them myself. Now we didn't feel in any way, intimidated. I mean we, the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee always operated from a position of strength. And we you know we always felt very secure about what we were doing and we knew we were right so that we didn't in any way uh feel that uh you know we were being compromised or anything uh, uh or that we were under the gun or we had to do this. Now one of the things that we know happened is that the speech had already been released to the press galley, I mean uh and so that the um, that these distortions, I mean you know a lot of people, lot of people you know talked about how we had to change these things, but these things were not, I mean they were not that, I mean they were not great changes to us… I mean like you know it really, you know was a question of unity for us and that and what we changed we felt that the speech was stronger, and I'm very serious about that, we felt that the speech was much stronger after meeting the objections and its rewriting.