Interview with Richard Hatcher
QUESTION 6
SHEILA C. BERNARD:

What, what was Baraka's role? What, what was Baraka doing to make the convention possible?

RICHARD HATCHER:

Amiri Baraka was, first of all, one of the hardest working people that, that, that I have, have ever had the opportunity to work with. Ah, secondly, he really understood. I, he, he was a person, he was a very literate person, and he really understood power relationships, and, and how important a meeting such as this could be. And as a consequence, I think he really committed himself, and all of the resources at his disposal. So while I, as mayor of the city of Gary was in fact able to utilize much of my staff, ah, the city police department, and other, ah, resources that were available to me, he also had resources in terms of people, ah, who could write, who could type, who could put things together. Ah, who were willing to stay up all night, and work all night if that, that's what was required. And so he put all of that into this convention. And, and in many ways, ah, that was critical to the success of the convention. There certainly were other people, I, I, I keep thinking again of Carl Holman and how important a role he played in helping to, ah, put the logistics of this convention together. And there are people in Washington, ah, Ivanhoe Donaldson I remember, sent, ah, at least two staff persons that he had to Gary, ah, for about two weeks before the convention to work on the organizing of this convention. Ah, the support, the support was tremendous, that, ah, through it all, especially while the convention was underway, ah, Baraka, and, and, and the people that he brought in, ah, really kept things moving. When papers, ah, had to be, resolutions had to be typed overnight, ah, in many instances he's the one that got it done. And, ah, ah, he was the head of the, ah, resolutions committee. He was chair of the resolutions committee, and, ah, that was a lot of work. Ah, but he was able, able to get that done.