Interview with Richard Hatcher
QUESTION 19
SHEILA C. BERNARD:

One final question about Gary. What do you think the mood and the energy and the enthusiasm of the delegates took home with them was? What did they come away with?

RICHARD HATCHER:

I, I, I think they were tremendously inspired--

SHEILA C. BERNARD:

Please say "the delegates"--

RICHARD HATCHER:

Yes, ah, you have to think, ah, in terms of that fact that, ah, some of our very greatest, ah, orators and speakers, ah, appeared on that platform. Some, some of our, our most revered and respected leaders. Coretta Scott King, ah, they were all there. Ah, Harry Belafonte was particularly active in helping, ah, to organize and raise, ah, money to make the convention work. Ah, Isaac Hayes, ah, I remember he did a tremendous performance. Ah, there were other entertainers who came, ah, Nancy Wilson, who just came as people, and just wanted to be a part of something very important that was taking place. And, and so, ah, you couldn't be at that convention for that week without coming away, I think, feeling great pride in being Black, ah, being very encouraged that there was hope, ah, for Black people in this country, and being very determined to go back to your home, your city, your town, and, ah, to try to implement many of the things that you had heard at that convention. And that is exactly, I think, what happened. People went back home, rolled up their sleeves, and ran for public office in a way that Blacks had never thought about running for public office before**. And, ah, the amazing thing, as I said, many of them were elected. Ah, they laid the foundation for, ah, Blacks moving on to the national, ah, platform. Ah, ah, ah, as they have in recent years. In fact, ah, I believe that you can trace the candidacy of Jesse Jackson for President of the United States directly to that Gary convention in 19- 1972, because when that foundation was laid, it was a natural step then to run, in a very serious way, a person, ah, for President of the United States. And so much of the political success, ah, that we enjoy today, I think, ah, emanated from the meeting in Gary and, ah, the coming together of all parts of the, ah, Black community's philosophical spectrum. And, ah, a kind of determination to go out and to change the world. And, ah, in many ways, ah, that's exactly what has happened.

SHEILA C. BERNARD:

: Wonderful, let me just stop for a second.

SHEILA C. BERNARD:

I'm worried about your--