Interview with Tony Gittens

OK, talk about what you got and of the feeling as you all are just describe as if we had no footage what was it like?


The negotiating team had come back and, ah, they, we had gotten a lot of what we had asked for. Students were there. We talked about it that night, and that morning we got up and we went down and we said, you know, "It's time for us to go." And we gave our reasons why we should go**. And we asked all the press to leave, who were there, and we had open mic so the students could come up and say whether they were for it, whether they were against it, whatever the reason, that went on for about an hour, hour and a half, two hours. We took a voice vote, and the agreement was that, that we should go. And as we went out of the building, ah, people, we cleaned the building. There was singing. People were singing. And what I felt best about was that no one got hurt. That we were walking out of there. We chose to go in. We were choosing to go out. We weren't forced out. And that we'd gotten a lot of what we went in there for. And I think that experience changed the life of every single Howard student that was on campus that day. Everyone felt proud. And as we walked out I felt very good. And the students tended to feel very, very good about themselves and about, they just felt their whole self-image of what a, what they were as Howard students just changed. They felt part of the whole world of, ah, of Black progress. So it was quite a, it was a wonderful feeling to have ended, ah, by choice and in such a positive way.