Interview with Lawrence Guyot
QUESTION 21
INTERVIEWER:

OK, CAN YOU TELL ME THAT THE NATIONAL OFFICE OF THE NAACP FORCED UH, AARON HENRY—

Lawrence Guyot:

Oh yeah, OK. The national office of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People made it very clear that Aaron Henry would, had a choice—either remain with the NAACP or remain with the Freedom Democratic Party. Because of the position taken by the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party which I consider the highlight of black people in this century when they had a choice to make, was, they wouldn't accept a compromise that was forged by white people and by supposedly their allies. They said no. And as a result of their saying no, the NAACP, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People said to Aaron Henry, get out. But, as a direct consequence of the delegation saying no, it led to the creation of the Equal Rights Committee which desegregated the Democratic Party. There's no question about this, about this association in this connection which led to the desegregation of a lot of delegations and I think a lot of us may have forgotten that when, when Julian Bond was fighting to have his delegation seated, he wa—he had to fight a guy named Jimmy Carter. So I think the impact of what that group of black Mississippians said in Atlantic City, even those biracial, uh, there was a small number of whites, some of them who were later to play a key role in the Freedom—Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party. Ed King, the chaplain of Tugaloo when I was a student there, was involved in that delegation, was later to run in the Freedom election and continues to this day to be supportive of that kind of politics.