Interview with Casey Hayden


Casey Hayden:

The whole scene was segregated, which meant that um, they had two cultures, and so blacks couldn't go anywhere, do anything in the white community, so people kind of generally know that but the implications of that were a, a really rigid caste system that was based on violence and oppression. So to keep that intact it couldn't be talked about, because if it started getting talked about publicly, it was gonna start to break open, and what we wanted to do was break it open. Um, so it was kind of a blitzkrieg, I mean the way I think of it is we had been previous to that weaving, we'd been weaving, trying to weave um, a network or a community of people who could work to change the system. But it was so slow, and so many people were getting picked off one by one by one, of local leaders were getting murdered, um, or people were being evicted and the white power structure was so strong that it really seemed like we needed an enormous amount of outside support um, to punch a hole in the whole system of segregation. So that's what it was about, it was getting the outside support, basically, I mean there was a lot else to it but, I think that was—and also, the whole movement was very much working with what was available, and we had available a whole lot of northern college students who were willing to come do something, we didn't have much money, you know I mean I can remember a lot of nights we didn't have gas to get home, I slept in offices an awful lot of times because we didn't have money to get gas to get home. Um, we were eating off the generosity of local res- black restaurateurs, who was feeding, you know, I mean the resources were very, very slim and there was this huge pool of resources, is what it was, and we needed all the help we could get, so if they would help, fine, use them, you know, use whatever we could get, so it's like that.