Interview with Mary L. Hightower
QUESTION 11
JACKIE SHEARER:

Can you make, can you tell us how you felt about the kinds of things that Baraka was talking about at the convention. Did you see any connection between what he was saying and what you were doing back home?

MARY HIGHTOWER:

Well, um, yes, um, when, when he spoke, and he spoke about the, uh--

JACKIE SHEARER:

I'm sorry, could you begin it again and mention Baraka's name?

MARY HIGHTOWER:

Yeah, OK. When I heard Baraka, when he was first introduced to us at the convention, it was, um, really, ah, after listening to him for a very short time, I began to feel pride, ah, in the things that he talked about and, and thinking of the things that we were doing in Mississippi, ah, the kinds of work, or the kinds of activities that we were involved in in Mississippi. Ah, you could see a connection, ah, it, it was, the whole concept of, of, his working in Africa, ah, it really, at that time, it really brought to our, to my attention, and I think that it, it was that feeling, ah, with a lot of people, and I know the group that came from Holmes County, that, it was sense of pride, um, and it was something, you know, it, if I, it was at that moment that we, you, you could begin to look and feel proud about what you were doing, and feel proud about yourself, you know, because, um, I have a whole concept of, of people from Africa and what they were doing, and, and the kinds of people that they were was, you know, just totally erased, you know, by sitting there and listening to him talk, because we, in some sense, felt that, "Well, what you're doing is not any different than what we're doing here." You know, we're just in different places, and maybe in much smaller places, but our goals and our efforts are the same, and, ah, it was a great sense of pride, you know, to, to have, ah, listened to him and to, you know, have been in the same convention with him, you know, and, uh--