Interview with Coretta Scott King
QUESTION 29
INTERVIEWER:

THAT TOOK CARE OF THE LAST THREE QUESTIONS. AND THEN GO AHEAD TO ALBANY. WYATT T. WALKER SAID TO US THAT IF SCLC HAD HAD MORE CONTROL OF THINGS, IF THEY'D HAD STRONGER CONTROL, AND DR. KING HAD HAD STRONGER CONTROL, THINGS WOULD HAVE TURNED OUT BETTER IN ALBANY. DO YOU THINK THAT DR. KING WAS HIMSELF FRUSTRATED ABOUT THE LACK OF COHERENCE IN ALBANY?

Coretta Scott King:

Well, I don't think that, I mean, I, I'm just talking, I'm not speaking about what Reverend Walker said. I'm speaking about what I understood of Albany and what I think the difficulty was in Albany, and I think Albany is perhaps one of the least understood of the campaigns. We were dealing with a more humane police force, number one, law enforcement body, and they, they did what they were supposed to do. When you break the law, what do you expect? You expect to get arrested and go to jail. In, in other communities, they were more brutal, they were more inhumane, and there were confrontations. And very often, it was the confrontations that caused people to pay attention to what was going on. In Albany we had a federal injunction placed against us. And when the federal court started ruling against us, that created a whole different thing in terms of what strategy do you use now? Because up to that point, Martin had been willing to break state laws, that were unjust laws, and our ally was the federal judiciary. And so if we would take our case to the federal court, and the federal court ruled against us, what recourse did we have? ** So we were working in concert with the federal laws, all the time, in the South, up to that point. But, so what we were—he was asking Senator Kennedy, I mean President Kennedy, and the Attorney General, Bobby Kennedy, for an intercession in Albany. That, that they needed, he needed some intercession. He was asking them, the Justice Department, to intercede, as a friend of the court, so that that injunction could be lifted. Because if you break the federal injunction, that would be a problem. And that was essentially the problem in Albany.