Interview with Rev. James Lawson
QUESTION 2
INTERVIEWER:

BUT WHAT ABOUT THE FACT THAT, SAY THE BLACK CHURCH HAD BEEN SAYING THIS FOR A LONG TIME. WHAT WAS IT ABOUT THAT PERIOD THAT, LEADING UP TO THE--

Rev. James Lawson:

All right, but there was also a lot of restlessness in the black church. I don't think that we, that anything had in the forties or fifties captured the restlessness in the black church. I mean by that that there are a lot of people like growing up in those days like Martin Luther King who said segregation is wrong and I'm gonna do everything I can to fight it. Now that indicates the extent to which restlessness was already going on. It was true of my own life. It was true in Martin King's father. It was true in my father who was a Methodist pastor. Everywhere he went, he organized an NAACP or everywhere he pastored rather, as a Methodist, he organized an NAACP or an Urban League. And when he pastored twice in Alabama and South Carolina he, before I was born, he carried a .38 under his coat, because he said, "No one is gonna make me be less a man than I am." So I mean now I don't think any of that was ever captured by, what? NAACP or anybody else. In other words there was a fierce kind of undercurrent, of saying this stuff has to stop, and we're not gonna put up with it.