Interview with Tom Hayden
QUESTION 29
INTERVIEWER:

OK BEGIN, JUST TELL ME ABOUT UM, UH, SNCC AS A, AS AN ORGANIZATION AND HOW IT, AND ITS CONNECTION IT WAS MAKING WITH SAY NORTHERN STUDENTS ESPECIALLY AT THAT TIME.

Tom Hayden:

Well every now and then uh, there's a surge of history in which a group of people uh, have the chance to determine events by taking uh, their lives into their own hands, their destiny into their own hands and SNCC was such an organization. It was not a bureaucracy, not the kind of uh, bureaucracy that exists between uh, uh crises, but it arose out of a crisis uh, and uh, it was composed of uh, students, high school and college students primarily, some dropouts from all over the South, uh, mostly black, some white, who uh, uh, sensed, the, the, suddenly sensed the opportunity to break down segregation. Uh, uh, that their, the previous generations had not felt the strength to do. Uh, and, I don't think uh, SNCC ever had a chance of becoming permanent or institutionalized or lasting because it was, it was a spontaneous uh, uh arising of, of uh thousands of people who, who wanted to come out of their private life of uh, unhappiness under segregation and do what was necessary to break it and then, and then return uh, hopefully to uh, to their personal lives. And so it was a very romantic, very appealing magnetic uh, organization because it was um, a spontaneous formation of conscience uh, that you just wanted to be part of…