Interview with John Lewis

And only a few months later, of course, he was assassinated. You attended that as a representative of SNCC, why did SNCC think they should attend Malcolm's funeral.


Both of us in the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, ah, that represented people in the front line in the South. I think they felt very strongly that we had to be present, that we had to show ah, a sense of solidarity, with the philosophy, with the views, with the followers of Malcolm. Ah, many of the young people in SNCC, was greatly moved and inspired by this man. Ah. People throughout the South wanted somehow and some way to see Malcolm emerge as a leader. They, they would have felt that his greatness, his true greatness was yet to come. And that was a feeling I think on the part of us, that Malcolm was moving towards that point of creating an interracial democracy. Ah, that he was moving away from the idea and the philosophy of a separate society, a separate community. And we felt that we had to be there, there was no other place to be, but to be there, to bear witness to the life and times of Malcolm. JAMES A. DeVINNEY