You offered to have SNCC come in and work with you. What made Stokely Carmichael so appealing?
The things that made Stokely Carmichael, ah, I think most, ah, ap--appealing to people, he was able to speak the kind of language that people, that gave encouragement to most of his people, especially old and young. You know, Stokely could stand up and entertain a congregation, that people just liked to hear him talk. And not only that, but Stokely had the ability to go into the communities and work with people from almost every level. But that was one of the key things, Stokely had had a lot of experience with the Civil Rights Movement in Mississippi and other places. And I think that was one of the things that, ah, everybody seemed to love Stokely, it was like having a son to come in. And which, he had done so much, I think to help the peoples in Lowndes County.
What made Stokely so appealing?
Well, it, some of the things that made him so, so appealing to the people of our county. Number one, people felt strongly that they'd learn about Stokely that he was a person who related to the community real well. He lived in the community with the people, and he spoke the kind of language that most people like to hear him speak. He gave a lot of encouragement to those who had fear in a, in ah, about getting registered to vote. Stokely was able to, ah, live in our community with us and work with us in trying to develop many of the things that we were trying to do. And, and people liked what he was doing and what he was saying, and the kind of message he would speak to. He, especially in our mass meetings, Stokely could stand up and talk to us, especially one of the things was, he talked about the system itself. What we need to do is tear this system down and put people in office, he's talking about Black people, that would relate to the people and that would do the kind of job that need to be done, and we didn't, had, the, the people in our county that we could take over, the political aspects of our county and do what need to be done. And then we needed to look at the economic problem, and work, and, ah, also in that direction.