Interview with Bernard Lafayette

Can you give me any specific times when you saw that reaction?


One specific thing was when we were working on the West Side of Chicago in the Lucy Jean Lewis campaign, who was a Black woman who was running for, ah, representative. And, ah, I was passing out leaflets on one side of the street and I was approached by a Black person, Black male, who told me to get out of there and, ah, he showed me his pistol. And, ah, I took the same position that I would take in the South, "I have a right to be here and, ah, unfortunately you don't agree but I will stay here. You do what you have to do because I'm going to do what I have to do." And I later on found out that he was, ah, had a job, as some kind of security officer and that's why he was carrying a gun, but he was also part of the, ah, you know machine. And so he was protecting his job. And, ah, I was trying to open it up so some more people could get some jobs and decent housing and that sort of thing.