Interview with Tom Hayden
QUESTION 8
INTERVIEWER:

ARE YOU READY? OK, TALK ABOUT FIRST GOING SOUTH AND HOW YOU GOT THERE.

Tom Hayden:

The first time that I went uh, south into the heart of segregation was in response to a call by uh, sharecroppers who'd been denied the right to vote and had, had set up a tent city. They were living in tents, uh, Fayetteville, Tennessee, I believe it was, it was in the winter of '60/'61 and a group of students in Ann Arbor, uh, responding to their call, put together a lot of food and uh, supplies, clothing, and we took several vehicles and, and went down. I went as the editor of the Michigan Daily, the Ann Arbor student newspaper. And uh, we spent several days there. And uh, uh, the, the first thing I remember was the idealism and the commitment of the sharecroppers, the people who were putting everything on the line. And secondly, uh, the uh, blind insensitivity of the, of the uh, city's fathers, if that's what you wanted to call them. I remember the first time we were confronted by the sheriff, who wanted us off the, uh, off the land, uh, it was at night, and this had never happened to me before. I took a look at him and uh, his equipment and my legs caved in. Uh, uh, it, it, it it, it, the fear had never hit me like that, and I couldn't imagine what it would be like to spend 50 years or 75 years under that kind of fear of the law. Later that night uh, we went dow—we were downtown trying to, uh, find the telephone to file a story over the phones the Michigan newspapers. And a crowd with bats and clubs uh, found us and descended on us and, and uh, uh, we, we uh, got in our cars and left that town, I don't mind saying at about uh, twice the speed limit with uh, uh, this little mob chasing us. So that was my introduction to the South.

CAMERA CREW MEMBER:

THIS WILL BE CAMERA ROLL 380. THIS WILL BE TAKE FOUR.