Interview with Lawrence Guyot
QUESTION 3
INTERVIEWER:

UM, CAN YOU TELL ME ABOUT HOW COFO GOT ORGANIZED AND WHO WERE, WHO WERE THE KEY PLAYERS IN THAT?

Lawrence Guyot:

COFO got organized twice. COFO was organized in 1954 and then it was disbanded, af—quite quickly because the, the governor attempted to co-opt that organization and it, and was quite unsuccessful. It was disbanded until 1963. It was then re-established by Medgar Evers, Dave Dennis, Bob Moses, Aaron Henry, who was made the titular head of it, and the rest, the other, the, the other line of leadership was the congressional district directors. Now, the, I say it was, it was, I say it was reorganized but we prefaced the organization of that and we understood when we were organizing it that Aaron Henry would be the titular head and the spokesperson but that we, because SNCC provided more manpower than anyone else, we would determine policy. We had that fight, that internal friendly fight out in Clarksdale, Mississippi. We won, there was, uh, Reverend Slip from Jackson raised the whole question of Bob Moses, an outsider, heading up the… the field direction. We had the troops; Wiley Brandon who now is the President of our—Howard University was the director of the VEP funds, and while Wiley was uh, superficially neutral, uh, Wiley was quite supportive of the right people on that question.